According to statistics, Greensboro is in the midst of violent crime epidemic.
In 2019, Greensboro set a new record for the number of homicides in a year with 45. In 2020, that record was shattered with 61 homicides, and so far that record of 61 homicides is on track to be shattered in 2021.
At the April 6 City Council work session, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “We’ve all made it pretty clear that public safety is a top priority.”
In 2020, the City Council held two work sessions on the Greensboro Police Department. At the second, held on Dec. 7, 2020, Police Chief Brian James reported that the city had already broken the record for the number of homicides in a year with 57.
James also reported that the Police Department was understaffed by about 40 officers and that police officers in Greensboro were generally paid less than officers in comparable municipalities in North Carolina, including some nearby but smaller cities such as High Point and Burlington.
Following that meeting, the City Council took no action despite public safety being “a top priority.”
On Feb. 23, James presented the Greensboro Police Department Strategic Plan to the City Council and noted that the department was authorized to have 683 sworn police officers but only had 611 sworn and fully trained police officers on the street.
The City Council took no action despite public safety being “a top priority.”
At the Tuesday, April 6 work session, City Manager David Parrish presented his plan to assist the Police Department, which included raising the starting salaries for police officers from $38,987 to $40,212 starting in September. That is a raise of $23.55 a week. Raises for veteran officers would also be made to keep them in line with the raises for new officers.
Parrish also recommended that eight police new positions for the Police Department be authorized in 2022 and eight in 2023.
Parrish said that these recommendations would be included in the 2021-2022 budget he will present to the City Council in May.
Councilmember Justin Outling made a motion to approve the recommendations and met immediate opposition from Vaughan and City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy.
At the City Council meeting that followed the work session on April 6, the City Council did vote unanimously to approve Outling’s motion, so the City Council has now taken action on “a top priority.”
To decrease crime in this city the GPD must concentrate their officers to communities that are prevalent for violence. Officers riding around in vehicles are not a suppression method or deterrence. Also, the department need to build partnership with community leaders and solicit feed back from these communities on who and what do they see as potential danger in their community. You can’t build trust with idol words, there must be a plan of action and action must be swift and fair.
You also can’t expect effective policing thru foot patrols or not hiring officers to full complement. You must fund increases in sworn officers and not tie their efforts up in political nonsense.
You also cannot decrease crime without a full complement of police officers. We have to solve one problem at a time. Seems to me that the lack of officers in the department needs to ne addressed before any crime reduction strategies can be effectively implemented.
Actually none of that is going to have a meaningful impact on crime without first doing something about the poverty that causes the crime. That’s what Republicans always leave out the first rule of sociology is poverty means crime. Deal with the poverty and the crime will naturally fall.
There are jobs out there. Good paying jobs. I have several posted with starting salary of 20.00 an hour and that’s for entry level, no experience. Everyone in my industry is looking for employees. We are willing to train, but we have no applicants. The poverty could be addressed by people actually getting a job.
We all care about the victims of poverty. First, consideration of the cause. Help is needed for those who have lost their jobs because of health, Covid influences, unneeded services, etc. But, there are a large number of people not working who are not able to support themselves much less those whom they continue to bring into the world without being able to offer the bare necessities of live, care, food, or even a place to live. The children should not bear the parents’ irresponsible sex life and tax payers $ are needed to help thos truly in need.
The only way to reduce crime is to reduce the poverty. You weren’t going to fix one problem without fixing another. In other words locking a whole bunch of more people up without reducing poverty is simply going to involve more people who have to commit crimes out of desperation to survive
Crime, especially violent crime, is not the result of poverty. It is the result of the evil in the human heart. It is abetted by a society and lifestyle that glorifies violence and denigrates personal responsibility. It doesn’t help when well meaning naive people make excuses for crime such as blaming it on poverty. Your post is an insult to millions of poor people who DON’T commit crime.
Grateful for city manager David Parrish’s wisdom to see this as a priority!! We have got to make our first responders and law enforcement the best and every individual in this county and city need to let them know how much we appreciate them when we see them out and about! Who among us does not need encouragement? Let me know how I might help!!!
Councils actions are only words, no action. They spout “ top priority “ and take no action. YET- the action this council takes is to defraud the citizens of Greensboro by providing their other councilwoman with our tax dollars without any accountability. Ie- cure for Violence & vehicle give away(s). Corruption or kindness with our tax dollars?
The change must come directly from the community. Support for the GPD must come in the willingness to assist officers in investigations, provide tips of criminal activity and work to recognize that the adverse effects of crime are on those living in the community.
Who in their right mind would support police if you want to reduce crime you have to reduce the poverty. That’s basic sociology but yet Republicans don’t seem to understand this rudimentary concept.
Great article. In my opinion, all this procrastination boils down to defunding the police.
Black people and minorities tend to be safer when police don’t have bloated budgets and tons of military equipment that they’re just itching to use. If you want to lower the crime rate you have to do something about the rate of poverty which is something that Republicans always ignore.
I have to disagree. No one group is totally responsible, or not. Deterrence is the prime law enforcement technique. If you do the crime, you pay the time. I could be wrong, but I think that the collapse of the American family, and the subsidizing non-workers are two of the prime reasons for our problems today.
There are lots of facts that are to this point. Americans cannot afford their government. So, just get out of the way. Free people shift for themselves.
Before thanking David Parrish or Justin Outling look at the pay study. No one proposed a pay increase that is equal or more than High Point or Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. No one seems to understand that persons interested in law enforcement do not put Greensboro PD at the top of their list.
Miller, you are correct. One way to defund the police is to make it so they are never fully staffed.
De funded police departments means that black people in general are safer
Ask the dozen or so murder victims so far this year if they feel safer with an underfunded police department.
You have it backwards.
Get Tommy Sotomayor to explain it to you.
With exceptions of Justin Outling this is a bunch of dithering idiots.
Outling just wants your vote. He does not care about actually improving the police. That’s why they got a token raise instead of a meaningful one.
I wonder how long it’s going to take Mayor Nancy to figure out the wind is now blowing from the opposite direction.
Based on the results and that Parrish kept talking about how cheaply this was accomplished, it is apparent that council or the city manager’s office gave City Budget a cost ceiling and told them to get something done under that budget. It was a very backward way of thinking. It looks like they said, “See what you can come up with for under $800,000 so we can say we did something.”
If they wanted to really solve the problem, the should have first identified the problem… Greensboro PD cannot attract enough viable candidates to stay afloat because GPD is not an attractive workplace in a highly competitive job market. (This is not the good kind of competitive market for the employer. It is one with too many employers and not enough candidates.) In other words, if the city wants to attract great candidates, they have to be much more attractive to prospective employees than any other nearby agency.
Once the problem is identified, only then can you create a solution. The answer is not just to make GPD on par with other agencies, which it is still not, even after the token raise. No, because the market is so poor for the employer, the City must make GPD the MOST attractive agency in the region in order to draw in any top level candidates. Let’s be honest, middle of the road pay, pretty good benefits, no educational or military incentives, and no take home car is what we ended up with AFTER the months long pay study was completed.
At a minimum GPD needed to outprice neighboring High Point and the Guilford County Sheriff’s department in every possible way. If not, why would anyone choose GPD over those two agencies? They would not even have to relocate to get more money, educational incentives, AND a take home car. None of what was done made any logical sense as far as problem solving. To me, if the solution that was presented clearly would not solve the problem, then either everyone involved was a total idiot or they had motives other than making Greensboro the safest city in America.
Being that most of the driving force behind this was the local politician, we can safely assume that garnering public support in this election year was the obvious motive. None of you political hacks, Outling included but thanks for playing, have fooled me, nor anyone with an ounce of sense. If you want our votes, then do what you need to do to make Greensboro safe again. Make GPD the most attractive place in the state to be a police officer. If you won’t do that, then you don’t want my city to be safe and you don’t want my vote.
This is obviously not a priority for the council. They only have one common goal: re-election. It’s our civic duty to make sure that doesn’t happen!
Poverty is the problem? Really? Money has absolutely nothing to do with moral turpitude. These same communities are often the biggest strains on our existing government assistance programs that obviously do not work. Money cannot fix this problem. The People have to fix themselves. Until they want to fix themselves they will keep on speeding toward hell at the current pace.
Terrific job, Nancy!!!
So, Greensboro police officers are paid less than High Point or Burlington officers??? This is the most incredulous fact in this article, to me. People of Greensboro – what does this tell you about your city council? How about some fresh people with an interest of serving the citizens of Greensboro, not themselves or special interests, run these current clowns on the council out of town. They’ve outlived their usefulness and it is quite apparent they have no idea what they’re doing, and they’re more worried about hurting someone’s feelings than they are concerned about one single Greensboro resident.
I was born and raised in Greensboro, but leadership like this has made it too costly for me to live there. Where does all the money go, Nancy? How about you and the council quit caving to organizations like BLM and stop defunding the police. Give them what they need to do their job, and keep ALL citizens of Greensboro safe!
Also, stop wasting the police department’s time and resources, having them chase down people not wearing a mask, or trying to run their business how they see fit.