As far as the number of fully trained Greensboro police officers on the street, according to Greensboro Police Chief Brian James, it’s worse than what has previously been reported.
James gave a report on the new Greensboro Police Department Strategic Plan at the Greensboro City Council work session on Tuesday, March 23.
The report includes information about the new racial equity training, Integrating Communications Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) training, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and a plan to create a full-time community resource coordinator, as well as reports on the new Homeless Area Response Team, the Behavioral Health Response Team and other new initiatives of particular concern to the City Council.
The report also included the fact that in 2021 there have been 12 homicides, which is double the number there were at this time in 2020 – a year that set a record for homicides in Greensboro at 61. The previous record was set in 2019 at 45. At the current pace Greensboro is on track to have well over 100 homicides in 2021.
Not as part of the report but in answer to a question from Councilmember Justin Outling, James did go over the current staffing issues. He said that currently he is authorized to have 683 sworn officers and has 641, which is 42 short of being at full authorization. However, James added that when you subtracted out the officers currently enrolled in the Police Academy and those that recently graduated from the academy and are still in training, he said, “It’s essentially 611.”
James said that from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. the officers “are running from call to call to call.” He said he was currently back filling about 12 positions a day with overtime.
Outling asked for numbers on how the City Council could help with the overtime issue and that resulted in a long City Council discussion.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan finally said the City Council would authorize whatever overtime James believed was needed to make up for the shortage of trained sworn officers.
Both James and City Manager David Parrish said that the police staffing study was essentially complete, but that they both had a couple questions about it that needed to be answered before it would be ready to be brought to the City Council.