The City Council has a work session scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, with three items on the agenda.

The first is a Greensboro Police Department (GPD) update, which will include a presentation by Police Chief Brian James on the “Greensboro Police Department Strategic Plan FY 2021-2024.”

One part of the plan that the City Council has discussed in the past year is staffing.  The plan notes that the GPD is allocated 683 sworn officers and currently has 34 vacancies for a 5.2 percent vacancy rate, and it states, “Based upon hiring and attrition rates for sworn personnel, the Department is projecting that sworn staffing levels will decrease.  Currently, there is high attrition and a decreasing number of job seekers within law enforcement.  Among those who do apply, the qualifications of the applicant is often marginal. Public perception of law enforcement also contributes to the barrier to effective recruitment.”

This is an issue that Councilmember Justin Outling spoke about in the video he posted on Facebook last week, that the GPD doesn’t have enough officers to meet its own response time or coverage goals.

According to this plan, the GPD projects that problem to get worse not better.

The GPD also employees 114 non-sworn employees and actually has a higher percentage of vacancies, 8.6 percent among non-sworn employees.

The plan notes that the last significant increase in the number of sworn officers was in 2011, when 30 new positions were added, and that since that time the ratio of officers to residents has decreased.

The plan states, “With population trends showing a steady increase, a growing economy (housing, entertainment, and hotels), and a performing arts center for downtown Greensboro, workloads for officers are expected to increase in the near future.”

Also on the agenda for the work session is a presentation on the “South Elm Development/Redevelopment Commission.”  This is the presentation on the proposed mixed-use development at Union Square on the corner of South Elm Street and Gate City Boulevard that Mayor Nancy Vaughan requested at the March 16 City Council meeting

Vaughan said the City Council would vote on the approval of that proposed redevelopment project at the Tuesday, April 6 meeting.

There is also a presentation on how the delayed 2020 census figures may affect the 2021 City Council elections.