On Tuesday, less than a week after Scott Gray had began his new job as Fayetteville Police Chief, he already looked right at home in his new office. In some ways, moving to Fayetteville is a homecoming for Gray.
Gray, who took over for Interim Chief Jeff McMullan on Thursday, Feb. 9, was born and raised in nearby Riverdale and attended Riverdale High School. He spent plenty of time in Fayetteville growing up, and now he’s playing a major role in keeping it safe.
He’s been determined from day one to make a difference as chief. He plans lead a police department that is dedicated to making Fayetteville safe for all citizens, being a resource for its community, and creating forward-thinking policies that are in the best interest of the people.
“We’re going to build a great team,” Gray said. “It’s going to be a team and it starts at the top, and both the deputy chief [McMullan] and I believe that to create that team, you’ve got to be out front. You’ve got to show the staff that you’re willing to fight for them and do what’s right by them.”
The former Henry County Police North Precinct Commander was chosen from among roughly 40 candidates to be the next chief of police. McMullan had served as the interim police chief since Sept. 1.
“His vision and his leadership are what we’ve desperately been searching for as an agency,” McMullan said of Gray. “When you first meet the chief, you immediately realize he brings that passion in law enforcement that we haven’t had in a while.”
Gray tries to lead by example in everything he does. He likes to keep himself busy, never resting on his laurels as he’s risen through the ranks. Currently, Gray is working on his doctorate from Argosy University, which will be another degree in a long line of educational achievements.
Gray received his Associate’s Degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia Southern University, a Master’s Degree from Columbus State, and another Master’s Degree from Troy University.
“I have a thirst for education, and there’s nothing saying when I’m done with this, I don’t go to law school,” Gray said.
For his dissertation, he wants to address the necessary increase in training for officers.
“We’ve been doing a good job of getting the officers trained, we just need to do more,” Gray said. “Push the envelope until we can’t push it anymore.”
Gray is constantly reading leadership books, taking pieces of advice from various sources to successfully craft the best leadership style for him. He believes in building a personal relationship with every member of his staff, getting to know them beyond the police department.
Although Gray hasn’t picked up a golf club in a little while, he said he’s determined to go golfing with McMullan because that’s something he knows McMullan likes to do in his free time. He hopes to foster those connections with everyone in the police department.
In Gray’s free time, he enjoys hunting and fishing and spending time with his wife Regina, sons Jacob and Thomas, and his grandchildren. Jacob is in the Army and Thomas works at the Adairsville Police Department.
Gray wants to do great things as the chief of police at the Fayetteville Police Department and he’s confident he has the knowledge, the passion, and the motivation to truly make a positive difference.
When asked what he wants his legacy to be when his last day arrives, Gray’s answer was simple.
“I left it better than I found it.”