MURRAY – Major Chris Scott is retiring from the Murray Police Department after 20 years with the the department and a total of 27 years in law enforcement.
“Through his time with our agency, Major Scott has been deeply involved in many facets of the department,” a news release from MPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Wiggins said. “While we are excited for him, he will be greatly missed. … Please join us in congratulating Major Chris Scott and thanking him for his service.”
Scott’s last day on duty was last Friday, June 4, although his official retirement date is not until Aug. 1. He said he had a large number of vacation days saved up, so he decided to take advantage of those.
Scott, 50, said he started his career in law enforcement at the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office in October 1994. He entered the academy at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training in May 1995 and graduated later that summer in August. He added that current MPD Officer Ryan Dawson and he were in the same basic training class.
After graduating from the academy, Scott was CCSO’s K-9 handler for more than four years and was promoted to sergeant. He said he left CCSO in June 2001 and came to work for MPD, where he has been ever since, making this month his 20th anniversary with the department.
Scott said he was a student at Calloway County High School when he decided that he wanted to work for MPD one day. He said his friend Jeff Holmes’ father, Bobby, was an MPD officer, so he had already had several conversations with him about what being a police officer was like, but it was an appearance at his school by a future MPD chief that cemented his goals in his mind.
“A police captain with Murray PD – David Smith, who later became chief – came and talked to our English class,” Scott said. “I had always had an interest in law enforcement, and when he spoke to our class, I got to talk to him afterward. My best friend’s dad was a police officer with Murray, and I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ I knew exactly what I wanted to do then. I did go to work for the sheriff’s office and I enjoyed my time there; it was a great place to work, but I knew that Murray was where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to go to any surrounding agency or anything; I always wanted to work for the Murray Police Department.
“I wanted to be a law enforcement officer, but it was more for my community. This was where I was born and where I’ve lived my entire life, so I didn’t want to police anywhere else because this was what I wanted to do. It was more about giving back to the community and serving the community that I love. My goal was to retire as a captain at the police department just like some of my mentors have, and I made it one step above that, so I was fortunate.”
Scott became a major – which is the second in command – in May 2016, succeeding Jim Osborne. Osborne had retired from the force and was soon hired as the City of Murray’s city clerk; he is currently the city administrator.
Scott said he had many mentors in his career. His second cousin Stan Scott worked at CCSO when Chris started there, and Stan later became sheriff himself. He said he was also very close with Timmy Manning, who unfortunately died earlier this year. Manning was a few years older than Scott, and the two became friends after Scott graduated high school.
“He was one of my good friends, and he was working for the sheriff’s office and I spent a lot of time riding with him,” Scott said. “… We were friends and he was even in my wedding, and he gave me a lot of advice on how to get involved and how to get started in law enforcement.”
One of Scott’s longest working relationships has been with MPD Chief Jeff Liles. Scott said that when he had decided to make the move from the sheriff’s office and apply at MPD, he talked about it with Liles, who was a sergeant at the time. Scott said he didn’t yet know Liles very well, but he was very encouraging.
“When Major Scott was interested in coming over here to the Murray Police Department, I saw him (and we talked),” Liles said. “He’s been a great asset to our department ever since he’s been with us, and he came up through the ranks and made it to the major position. He’s grown as a person and also as an officer and leader of his department. He’s been very beneficial to us, and an individual like that will be missed. We’re a team and a family here, and he’s always going to be part of the family.
“Major Scott is a great man, and he’s not only a personal friend, but he’s done a lot of great things and helped make this department what it is today. We do it all as one, as a team, and he helped develop the department as part of that team. Congratulations to him; we all strive for that day when we’ll be able to retire and move on to the next chapter. I’m very proud of him, and I look for him to do well in whatever he decides to do next.”
Scott said he has witnessed many positive changes with the department in his 20 years there, perhaps most notably the move into its current headquarters on Fifth Street. After City Hall moved to its current location in the former BB&T building, MPD moved into the former City Hall from its previous headquarters in a small building on Poplar Street.
“I’m really glad I got to be part of so many changes with the police department, and at the same time, I think we’ve still maintained our core values and stayed on mission of serving the community,” Scott said.
Scott said he hated to leave a place where he loved working so much, but he felt it was time. He said he had sacrificed a lot of time with his family over the years, so for now, he mostly just plans to spend as much time with them as he can. He said he doesn’t have any concrete plans for what else he might do in the future, but is considering a few possibilities.