Discover Madison Kentucky January-February 2021 - Page 11

Eric Scott
We Live Here
Words and photography by | Destinee Ott
UK ATHLETICS Eric Scott ( 59 ) says he will forever be indebted to UK athletics for the opportunities it gave him .

Eric Scott went from protecting quarterbacks on the football field , to protecting citizens of Berea .

But becoming a police officer , and later , chief of police for the Berea Police Department was not the orginal game plan .
Scott was born in Atlanta , Georgia , and said he did not have a lot of experience with cops .
“ Most people don ’ t want to just hang out with the police ,” Scott said . “... I ’ m not gonna say I didn ’ t like the police , but in Atlanta , it was like you just avoid them at all cost .” Scott envisioned himself as a football player . At the age of 18 , Scott came to Kentucky on a football scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky . Once he got here , he fell in love with the state . Scott stayed in Kentucky for four years for his undergraduate education . He graduated with a bachelor ’ s in communications and a minor in business .
After graduation , Scott was invited to play in the NFL for the Tennessee Titans . He played a season and a half before he got injured . He decided to come back to Kentucky during his rehab period to heal at “ his college .” When he was getting ready for his third year in the NFL , he was not cleared due to a fracture in his ankle .
“ At that point , I had to figure out whether or not to sit out the season ,” Scott said . “… But at the time , I had a kid , so I couldn ’ t just take time off … So I decided to go back to UK to finish my master ’ s .”
At UK , Scott was looking for a graduate assistant job or something which would help him pay for his master ’ s .
“ I didn ’ t have school debt because of my football scholarship ,” Scott said . “... So I didn ’ t want to create some now that I was done with schooling .”
While attending a job fair , Scott ran into two University of Kentucky police officers — one he knew from his time as a football player . He told them his situation , and the officers told him if he joined the police department , they would pay for him to get his masters .
“ I didn ’ t know if I wanted to be the police ,” Scott said . However , he decided to give policing a shot . In 2008 , he joined the police department for the University of Kentucky , and in 2009 he graduated from the police academy . Scott spent about 11 years at UK and said he was able to get his feet wet in the world of policing .
During this time , Scott was accepted into the FBI National Academy , which he said was a
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