Crime Stoppers recently announced a $4,000 reward for information about the aggravated assault on Saturday, Feb. 13 near the intersection of Elmwood Drive and Cornwallis Drive.

According to the notification, in addition to the Crime Stoppers reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible, an additional reward of $2,000 has been donated by anonymous donors.

Crime Stoppers can be reached at 336-373-1000.  All information is confidential.

According to the police report, a man, his wife and young child were in their car when a person or persons in another vehicle peppered their car with shots and the man was struck in the arm and taken to the hospital for treatment.

The incident has attracted more than the usual amount of attention because there are not many shootings in that part of town. 

Unfortunately, shootings in Greensboro are not uncommon.  In 2020, there were 61 homicides in the city, setting a new record.  But in addition to increased number of homicides, there was also a 17 percent increase number of assaults with firearms.  Through November 2020, there were 1,309 assaults with firearms.  If you average that over the time period, that means there were over 27 assaults with firearms a week in 2020, which works out to almost four a day.

Not only is the Police Department dealing with increased violent crime, it is doing it while understaffed.  The Greensboro Police Department is authorized to have 674 sworn police officers.  In December there were 612 fully trained sworn officers, and it appears that problem may be getting worse, not better.

The Police Department loses about 60 sworn officers a year, mostly through retirement, but also from resignations, injuries and other causes.  The Greensboro Police Department usually runs two training classes a year, so if each has 30 officers then the Police Department stays about even.  However, the last class graduated 14, which is not enough to keep up with normal attrition.

In 2020, the Greensboro City Council set reducing violent crime by 20 percent by 2022 as one of its goals.  However, despite the increase in violent crime, the City Council held only two work sessions during the year on the Police Department.  As a result of the work session on Dec. 7, 2020, when councilmembers talked about offering immediate assistance, the City Council took no action.

And it is worth noting that the City Council began the year 2020 by turning down a $250,000 grant for the Police Department from the US Department of Justice.  The five who voted not to accept the Justice Department grant for the Police Department were Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Councilmembers Sharon Hightower, Michelle Kennedy, Tammi Thurm and Yvonne Johnson.

Councilmembers Justin Outling, Marikay Abuzuaiter and Nancy Hoffmann voted in favor of accepting the grant and Councilmember Goldie Wells was absent.