One of the five goals set by the City Council at its February retreat appears to be achievable and can be accomplished without huge expenditures.
The City Council set a goal of reducing violent crime in the city by 20 percent by the end of 2022.
Police Chief Brian James was hesitant to agree to the goal when it was first mentioned at the City Council retreat in February because he understood it was for one year.
James said, “I’d like to see a goal of 10 percent in violent crime reduction.” When James was told the City Council’s goal was not for one year but was by 2022 he said, “I think that it’s attainable for violent crime.”
He noted that one reason that violent crime appeared to be up so much in 2019 was that in 2018 violent crime was unusually low. He said that if you go back four or five years that Greensboro is safer than it was. When asked, James said the department didn’t have a good explanation for why violent crime was down in 2018.
James was asked if he needed more police officers to accomplish the goal and he said that he wanted to do a manpower study before he made any comment about needing new officers.
James was also asked about annexing new properties in outlying areas and if it was accurate to say it didn’t create a problem for the police. James said that it did create difficulties when a police officer had a call at the far reaches of the city limits and then had to respond to another call all the way on the other side of the patrol district.
James added that he thought the police patrol districts needed to be realigned. He said that the current districts were drawn in 2011 or 2012 and the city’s population had grown and shifted. James said that looking at the patrol districts would be incorporated into the manpower study.