At the Greensboro City Council public forum on Tuesday, March 7, there were several people who spoke in support of the Greensboro Police Department.
For the past several years there has been a regular cadre of speakers who rail against the GPD, individual police officers and law enforcement in general, and some of them were also present with the same old spiels.
However, it is unusual to hear people at the podium speak about the severe challenges the GPD is currently facing, in a large part due to the policies of the City Council.
Jim Bennett, who said he was a graduate of the Greensboro Citizens Police Academy, said, “Our department is nearing a crisis point down about 20 percent.”
He noted that the department was short about 115 to 120 officers and that the vacancy rate was climbing. He said no department could operate effectively with such a high vacancy rate.
Bennet said, “The City Council must make policing the highest priority. What are you going to do to make that happen?”
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson responded saying, “One of the things we did in the last budget was we increased the salaries.”
What Johnson didn’t say is that even with the salary increase the GPD is still paying police officers less than most competing jurisdictions, not just in the state but in the region.
There was more bad news about the GPD in a Greensboro press release on Wednesday, March 8. According to the press release, “Thirteen recruits graduated from the 113th Greensboro Police Academy on March 7, 2023, and joined the ranks of the Greensboro Police Department.”
With the number of vacancies in the department at over 100, it might appear that having 13 new officers join the ranks would be good news, but it isn’t. For the GPD to maintain its current vacancy rate of nearly 20 percent, each police academy class needs to graduate about 30 police officers.
Each year the GPD loses about 60 officers due to normal attrition. Most of those 60 retire. Since there are two police academy classes each year, 30 officers need to graduate from each class to make up for normal attrition.
Having 13 only new officers graduate means that the vacancy rate is going to keep increasing for the foreseeable future.
Former Police Chief Brian James told the City Council that to start climbing out of the vacancy hole the GPD needed to graduate about 40 officers from each class for the next several years. You don’t have to be a math whiz to know that 13 isn’t anywhere close to 40 or even 30.
Lol…maybe Johnson needs to forfeit her yearly 900k that shows no accountability
Relax folks. “It’s all part of the plan”. They say they support the cops, toss out a token raise, they keep GPD crippled. Defunding is alive and well in it’s new guise.
“ even with the salary increase the GPD is still paying police officers less than most competing jurisdictions, not just in the state but in the region.”
Almost $2,00,000,000 in school bonds (with less than 10% spent , yet law enforcement keeps falling behind.
You have one job Council! Educate the children and keep them safe, now do it!
The county runs schools not the city. That would be the sheriff’s department not GPD.
Yvonne you are a sweet lady but that tiny salary increase does nothing. GPD starts at $46,000. Burlington at $55,000. Plus a vehicle. Plus wellness days. Guilford County has always had better benefits. Wake up. Citizens are starting to notice that there aren’t that many police around. The criminals have already noticed.
Talk is cheap. Any idiot knows if these folks can get better money and working conditions that’s where they are going to apply. I for one am sick and tired of the councils excuses and endless talk. I live in southeast Greensboro and honestly never even see a police presence unless there has been a bank robbery or shots fired. Enough is enough.
This topic is well known by the local and national gangs. I was hopeful the saleries would come up to national standards after the riots and some of the news about how Greensboro fared from the BLM and riotiing. Daily crime is not spotlighted aside from so and so was shot and died there or at the hospital. Day to day living and working and family care has most of the citizens preoccupied and not with the world, national or local news unless related to the same topics of living ones life as best as one can. When property taxes went up 30% it seemed logical that it certainly wasn’t a necessary move, but a greedy act for those on the council pet projects. The treasury of the city is much larger than others the same size as well. Then Duke raised rates 47%. The strain is ongoing to daily living without seeing or hearing the news of old over and over again, no changes of note, except we are not improving our Law and Order disposition. The manufacturing coming into our Triad area’s have additional issues of housing, transportation, and adding to the coffers, not without law and order. A job here isn’t worth the percentage of crime in all walks of our daily lives. Enough foolishness from the city council, foolhardy short sighted and ignorance of the average citizen.
If Greensboro doesn’t soon do something about the lack of police, then the citizens will have to become their own vigilantes to protect themselves and family.
Mandate Mayor and her cabal dole out money for pallet houses and Performance Arts Palaces but de facto defund our police by withholding competitive pay and benefits. Also Mandate Mayor and her cronies have basically banned the popular Gun show at the Greensboro Coliseum from existence. So Mandate Mayor won’t help protect our community with properly staffed police and wants citizens to defend themselves and their family with …….what? …..Broadway Revival tickets to hand out to thieves and gangbangers…. For shame.
This is nothing more than defunding the police by attrition.
The decline of ethics and morality in our Republic is rampant. People are responsible for their own actions. There is no excuse for say, shoplifting, lying….. As a group, more and more people turn to crime because they can get away with it. Our Socialists governments WANT chaos, so they can step in and fix it for us (1984).
How many people just want to be left alone?
“Councilmember Yvonne Johnson responded saying, “One of the things we did in the last budget was we increased the salaries.”
Surely she is long past due to get off the council, but obviously she loves the attention. And, she gets involved in the distribution of city funds to various non-profits, otherwise known as free money for causes they are involved in one way or the other.
Here’s some current starting police officer salaries which are published in their city website, although some may be higher now.
58,911 – Apex
55,393 – Wake Forest
53,248 – Holly Springs
53,090 – Morrisville
50,301 – Raleigh
50,000 – Chapel Hill
49,783 – Sanford
48,000 – Hillsborough
46,998 – Durham
46,500 – Burlington
46,443 – Charlotte
45,856 – Asheville
44,500 – Greensboro (increases to 45,000-46,000 within 3 yrs – whoopie!!)
43,000 – Fayetteville
42,659 – Conover
42,387 – Asheboro
42,348 – Statesville
41,859 – Mooresville
If Greensboro is going to put money where their mouth is, then the starting salaries need to be in the upper 40’s, at a minimum. Otherwise, GBO will continue to be a city that talks big, but turns around and pours more money on the non-profits. You see. . . .the non-profits are the reliable sources of getting out the votes for the Council, which everyone knows. But, what about the citizens who can’t get a good police response to issues in their neighborhood? And police cars in high-crime neighborhoods might help cut down on the crime in these areas, yet some on the council don’t want their “community” to get on their backs for having a police officer so visible in their neighborhood.
Guess the fiddler keeps playing while the community falls lower.
They are politicians! They say want they think the public wants to hear and then votes against any improvements for the p9lice department. Yes – Johnson should give back the $900k that was given to her by the city council for her non- accountability “Cure for Violence.” If this is a cure why is the murder rate continuing to climb ? Lack of police funding? Lack of support from city council? Lack of a police union going to city council meetings requesting, on the record, for support? GPD has one to the best training academies in the state. Once trained and certified , new hires have an endless opportunity to go elsewhere. Why would one elect to stay with GPD?
Other agencies are poaching. 3 just graduated and immediately went elsewhere.
The Greensboro Police Department is the 3rd largest agency in the state. They do not rank anywhere close to 3rd when it comes to pay and cannot even compete with any of the surrounding agencies. And the other agencies not only pay more but provide other perks including take home cars and better benefit packages. The city has mismanaged the car program for years and continues to do so. The mayor will tell you the police department has had a take home car program for over a year however they have yet to assign the first take home car to a patrol officer. NOT ONE! We have an Assistant City Manager that is in charge of Pubic Safety including the police department and he served as a police officer and commander for years in the Greensboro Police Department. I have yet to hear him advocate for the police department to city council. He silence is deafening. Yes Councilwoman Johnson is correct. The police department did receive a raise in the last budget year as it was the same as every other city employee(except for the city manager and he was more). But the last time I checked the water dept, parks and rec and sanitation did not have 20% vacancy rate and their salaries are in line with the market value of other city departments in the surrounding area unlike the police department. These other city departments are not having to make tough decisions or having to reorganize and cut specialized units that used to address issues that the citizens complain about the most. It’s time for our city leaders to step up and address the public safety issues that our great city will face if you continue with the status quo.
You said it M.I.A. And call out Nathaniel Davis by name. He slid right into that job-gave up being a captain to move up three spots. Speak up Tre! You love politicking and preaching.
Hey Nancy at least get GPD up to Charlotte pay and benefits since you compare us to the Queen City in every statement you make. You want us to have their prepared food tax. You want us to have their tax rate without the entertainment options Charlotte has. Council needs to put their money where their mouth is. But they want. I’ve said it before-they do not care. They call command staff directly when they have an issue while everyone else waits for 911.
Y’all give away millions without discussion. Someone on the council needs to man and woman up, make a motion for pay and cars and let your brilliant city managers figure it out. And no Sharon the rest of the city doesn’t need this. They do not work 24/7 and all the holidays. No one is trying to shoot or run over Parks and Rec. It’s a different job with different certifications required by the state. The retirements are going to be high in the next few years because those bigger and consecutive classes from the 1990s are against out. So add another hundred to that vacancy list.
*classes from the 90s aging out.
You think it’s bad now, police morale is non-existant due to the new police chief making horrible decision after horrible decision. Most people were optimistic when he started but he’s quickly proven to be the worst chief in two decades. Good luck attracting applicants now that you have no specialized units (for career progression), no take home cars, and no competitive pay.
Amen brother. He’s running it into the ditch faster than any other.
What horrible decisions?
I guess that means we’ll be seeing even more illegal dirt bikes and 4-wheelers popping wheelies while racing down busy city streets in the future. Will the city pay for damages if one of them hits my car and speeds off? Not likely.
No the city won’t pay. Just shoot’em and let GOD sort’em out