Greensboro should give new police chief a chance

by YES! Weekly staff

Give the chief a chance

Greensboro’s new chief of police, Wayne Scott, a 24-year veteran of the department, deserves a chance to prove he’s the right man for the job before being tainted with the broad brush of the department’s past failures.

We don’t for a second believe that Scott is cut from the mold of police officer that many people in the community rightly view with distrust. We think he’s a man of character and faith, committed to justice and good police work.

The Greensboro Police Department spent most of the last decade embroiled in racial strife that infected the larger political atmosphere of the city itself. Former Chief Ken Miller came in from Charlotte and deserves a lot of credit for ostensibly righting the ship and getting all hands to focus on their primary mission of public safety.

We don’t think that the city leaders would allow for any member of the Greensboro Police Department to return the city to those dark days of a decade ago. We wouldn’t accept it, and neither would the community at large.

Scott received his first major promotion, from patrolman to corporal, from Chief Robert White, an African American. White promoted Scott to sergeant three years later. In April 2007, another black chief, Tim Bellamy, promoted Scott to lieutenant. Bellamy quickly promoted Scott to captain two years later. Such a meteoric rise through the ranks of a department often bogged down in division surely speaks to the character and ability of the new chief.

Scott has gone from being a sergeant to the chief of the department in a little more than 12 years. He’s either the luckiest man in Greensboro, or possesses the mettle to be an incredibly good police officer.

We hope it’s the latter. Scott will face big challenges to his authority from powerful political interests in this city of lingering racial division. Any man that can conquer a command ladder that fast should be up to the task. !

YES! WEEKLY chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration .