The City of Greensboro doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to hire a new police chief.
Former Greensboro Police Chief Brian James announced his retirement on April 18 effective May 31. James’ retirement didn’t last long. On July 1 he started his new job as chief of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Police Department.
Greensboro City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba appointed Deputy Police Chief Teresa Biffle to serve as interim police chief.
In addition to holding three Zoom meetings in August where people can give input on what they would like to see in a new police chief, the city is also giving people the opportunity to complete an online survey. The survey includes topics such as the key issues facing the Police Department and the top priorities for the new chief and can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T5QBLDQ
The results of the survey will be tabulated and provided to Developmental Associates the consulting group that is handling the nationwide police chief search for the city.
The survey is open through Friday, Sept. 30, which means the actual search for a new police chief will begin sometime after the end of next month or five and a half months after James announced his retirement.
With over 100 vacancies in the GPD, one of the huge issues the Police Department is facing is in recruiting new officers. James told the City Council that the GPD needed to graduate an average of 40 new officers from each Police Academy class for several years to reduce the deficit and graduate at least 30 new officers in each class to keep the vacancy rate from growing. There were only 13 graduates in the last Police Academy class, which means the number of vacancies is growing not shrinking.
Law enforcement agencies across the country are having difficulty recruiting new officers and recruiting new officers for a police department without a chief has to be far more difficult.