Waters: Becoming chief realizes a ‘lifelong goal’

Waters selected to be Hamlet police chief

Kevin Spradlin

Chief Scott Waters.

The city of Hamlet announced Friday by email, and through the city Facebook page, that Waters has been selected as the next chief of police.

Waters is a veteran law enforcement professional with more than 23 years of experience. He has served with the Hamlet Police Department since 1991. Waters is currently the patrol captain with the Hamlet Police Department, and in the past, he has served as detective captain, detective lieutenant, detective sergeant, school resource officer, patrol sergeant and patrolman.

Waters was brought into City Manager Marcus Abernathy’s office shortly after 8 a.m. Friday and given the news. He was one of five finalists for the position. Interim Chief Rodney Tucker wasn’t among them, as he has resigned and reported to be taking a position with the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

“I didn’t have a clue,” Waters said. “I was surprised.”

Scott Waters

Scott Waters

Waters will be sworn in at City Hall at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 24.

“I believe that we have found in Scott a police chief that not only has the professional qualifications, but the personal attributes, the demeanor and the passions that will make him an excellent fit for this very important position,” said Abernathy in a prepared statement.  Scott is familiar with the community and will be able to effectively address our needs as our police chief.”

The selection came after a rigorous assessment center performed by the city.

Waters said of the three job-related scenarios given during the assessment, there was a budget issue on the written portion of the evaluation that nearly stumped him. But a week of preparation, with the help of mentors, Waters said, left him standing as the best available candidate.

Abernethy organized a professional assessment center to evaluate its candidates for this position. The candidates had to complete three exercises that tested each candidate’s oral and written abilities. These exercises were designed to evaluate their abilities in performing the job, and each exercise was evaluated by three assessors. Seven area police chiefs, one patrol captain and one local government manager served as assessors.

Waters said he is very excited to become Hamlet’s next chief.

“This has been my lifelong goal to achieve the position with the Hamlet Police Department,” Waters said in a prepared statement. “I was born and raised in Hamlet and have lived here all my life. I started my career as a patrolman on Dec. 20, 1991 at the Hamlet Police Department and have worked my way up through the ranks. I am excited and I am looking forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Hamlet in my new position. It is an honor and a privilege for me to do so. I am truly humbled and blessed and I give all credit to the good Lord above.”

Waters earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice in 1999 from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Waters also earned an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice in 1991, and completed Basic Law Enforcement Training at Robeson Community College that same year.

While he has the weekend to celebrate, Monday will come at its regularly scheduled time. When that happens, Waters said his No. 1 priority will be looking into filling vacancies within the department and managing the holiday-related time off requests.

Friday’s announcement of the promotion came with mixed feelings. Waters said he spent part of his day saying goodbye to a fellow officer with whom he’s worked seven years.

“It’s a day,” Waters said “I’ll try to make adjustments with what I have. i’ll focus in on that on Monday … I’ve already started doing it.”


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  • Hall Rick

    Well of all the stupid things the city of Hamlet has done in the past, this time they got one ,right? I used to employ Scott and he was a fine young man back then. He courted our daughter for a time and was always at our home. I could not ype enough good things bout this young man ,i would run out of space here. Congrats Hamlet ,this time you got one ,right .

  • Brenda David

    Congrats captain (chief) waters on your new position.

  • Camilla Hudson

    So glad the “Powers That Be” realized we had someone local that qualified as Police Chief. This gentleman, by knowing the territory and the problems facing the city, can hit the road running. He will not have to take time out to familiarize himself with what is going on or where to go.
    An “EXPERT” from ‘out of town’ is not necessary to find the right person for the job,,,,

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