“The most important thing is for him to know the Lord.”

It was the last comment made at a community meeting on hiring a new Greensboro police chief and received unqualified approval from the 14 people at the meeting.

Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott announced he was retiring Jan. 31, 2020 and the city is holding a series of public forums to give people the opportunity to voice their opinion of what Greensboro needs and should be looking for in a new police chief. This public forum was held at the Barber Park Event Center at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30.

Assistant City Manager Trey Davis and Jenny Caviness, the director of the office of community engagement for the Police Department, presided over the meeting, which was informal, with everyone sitting at tables formed in a square. Davis asked some questions, to get the discussion started, and then let people talk. He said the online questionnaire was anonymous, so they didn’t ask people at the public meetings to give their names and few did.

One speaker went into an explanation of why he thought Davis, who had been a captain in the Police Department before becoming an assistant city manager earlier this year, should be the next chief.

He said he thought it was important to have someone who had risen up through the ranks and was engaged with the community and used Davis as an example of what the city should be looking for in a chief. He said with Davis on the search team he thought the city would be in good shape.

Davis responded, “I really, really appreciate it and I’m humbled by what you said.”

Another man said, “We need a police chief like Bellamy with a personality.” He was speaking of former Police Chief Tim Bellamy.

A woman said, “I just loved Ken Miller. I felt he had commitment to the community. Not just at National Night Out, but he would come to our meetings.”

She said that when Miller was chief, “I saw the police chief all the time.”

She added, “I was an advocate of Chief Scott. I was surprised to hear he was retiring. I felt like he was a community advocate.”

A woman read a list of 12 traits of an effective leader. One was forgiveness. She said, “When I looked at it, these are characteristics that are intuitive. Those are things that cannot be measured.”

Comments that came up time and again were the need for community involvement and that the new chief needed to be “genuine.”

There are two more community meetings scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 1 at noon at Benjamin Branch Library at 1530 Benjamin Pkwy and Monday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church Fellowship Hall at 1210 S. Eugene St.

People can also comment online by going to the city website or by going to: http://www.empliant.com/survey/FEB7DB9A4-AEAF-9746-F5AC/