|Extended Campus Graduate Named Columbia Chief of Police|
But on October 4, he took a telephone call asking if he would be interested in moving to the nearby Columbia Police Department to serve as its Chief of Police. Since then, things haven't been quite the same for him. But he's quick to proclaim he would not have it any other way.
"For the longest time, I've taken a real delight in making people happy. And that's what policing is all about: making people happy and meeting the needs of a community," said the 41-year-old Chief Scott.
But do not misinterpret a police chief's desire to make people happy as a sign of weakness. Because for all his gentleman-like banter-which is peppered with countless uses of phrases such as "How can I help you today, sir?" "Yes, sir" and "No, sir,"-Chief Scott has the strength, determination, and pedigree to make him the logical selection for his current position. He is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, a graduate of the FBI National Academy, a certified hostage negotiator, and a Special Protection Officer for the U.S. Secret Service.
Chief Scott is also a Limestone graduate. "Just before I left the Marine Corps, I was introduced to their ‘Troops to Cops' program, which was designed to help transition those service men and women who were interested into law enforcement. I fell in love with law enforcement instantly; it is the ultimate community service job, and is one of the few fields out there that truly allows you to help people. I also quickly learned that if a career was to be made in law enforcement, continued education was paramount. You will not see that officially written in a law enforcement job description, but it's understood to be that way.
The Columbia, SC native did not have to look far in finding a program right for him. "The Limestone Extended Campus site in Columbia was the perfect match," he said. "Looking back on it, one of the best parts was that discovering that my classmates were people just like me; professionals with no other reason to be there than to earn that degree. But the icing on the cake was the commitment of our instructors and, especially, Walter Smith who was our director. They cared so much about us and were so strongly dedicated to our futures that they would not settle for anything less than success in our studies."
Chief Scott's personal Limestone experience was such an impact in determining the success he enjoys today in his career, that he has returned to the Columbia site as an instructor; teaching a new generation of professionals how to take that next step on their own pathways to success.