At the Tuesday, June 6 meeting, the Greensboro City Council discovered that of the 40 take-home police cars authorized, not a single car has made it to the streets.

On Nov. 18, 2021, the City Council voted unanimously to provide Greensboro police officers with take-home police cars.  Despite the fact that the city had piles of federal American Rescue Plan dollars it was handing out to just about any organization that asked, the council couldn’t find the money to purchase 100 police cars at once.  Instead, the council voted to buy 20 additional cars each year for five years.

Since that vote was in 2021, the city reportedly has purchased 40 additional police cars, but for some unexplained reason has, in over 18 months, not been able to get a single car upfitted for use as a police car.

This was obviously news to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, who was the strongest proponent of providing Greensboro police patrol officers with take-home cars. She said, “We made a commitment to take-home cars and we are two years in and it doesn’t appear that we are making much progress.  I understand there are supply chain issues, but I did talk to the police chief about it.  I know that we typically do Fords, but maybe there are some other cars we should look at.”

Vaughan added, “We committed to take-home cars.  We committed two years ago. We just have to make it happen.”

Former Police Chief Brian James repeatedly told the City Council that one of the issues that was causing the increasing vacancy rate in the Police Department was that every other jurisdiction in the area had take-home police cars.

When the decision about providing take-home police cars was being made, city staff was clearly against it, and included in the cost of purchasing 100 police cars a $32 million city maintenance garage, which on questioning, staff admitted was already needed and would have to be built whether the city bought the police cars or not.

Just as the City Council learned on June 6, there is much more to this story than they are being told.  Even with supply chain issues, other jurisdictions are managing to purchase and upfit new law enforcement vehicles, but for some unexplained reason Greensboro has not.