The Greensboro Police Chief is pondering his retirement

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — Greensboro Police Chief Brian James is reflecting ahead of his retirement.

He admits he has mixed feelings about his departure, but has no regrets as the job takes a toll on you and your family.

He’s ready to spend more time with his family while his youngest daughter prepares to go to college.

James reflected on his nearly three decades with the department.

“It’s not real to me yet. I think when I come in here and actually clear my office and leave for the last time, it’s probably going to be quite an emotional moment,” he said.

James had headed the Greensboro Police Department as the 23rd chief of police for the past two years.

He joined the department in 1996 as a police officer. He showed our crews a picture of him and his mother when he was first sworn in. He was 26 years old.

A native of Greensboro, James is a graduate of Page High School and received his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University,

“I was born and raised here, raised here, and it proves that this community can raise its own leaders,” James said.

He says he’s most proud of his fight for officer recruitment and retention and the department’s community outreach.

“One of the other challenges … is always relationships, and I think we’ve made great strides in building better relationships with the community. This work must continue,” he said.

He is credited with initiating the take-car-home program for officers and installing new license plate readers, and his department is in the process of setting up a real-time crime center.

“I am very proud that we have been able to move these things forward and I hope that the next person who will serve will certainly support this mission,” he said.

He has this message for people who say he’s leaving too soon:

“I think you have to consider a person’s individual commitments. It’s family first and foremost. If they say I’m leaving early, I’ll take that as a compliment, but also remember that I served the City of Greensboro as a police officer for over 26 years.”

Now he looks to the next phase of his life.

He shared with FOX8 what he wants to do in retirement.

“Probably get on my bike and ride it. I have a motorcycle that I rarely get to ride, and I’ve ridden it for over twenty years…I’ve had very little opportunity to ride it since I became Chief. It’s something I really enjoy doing,” he said. “I would really like some time to relax. Maybe take a vacation and recharge your batteries and find out what’s next.”

James’ last day of work is May 31st.

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