Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that the reason Greensboro had half the police cars of cities smaller than Greensboro was that other cities allow police officers to take their cars home and Greensboro doesn’t.
High Point for example about one third the size of Greensboro has more police cars than Greensboro because High Point police officers are allowed to take their cars home at the end of the shift, according to Vaughan.
Vaughan also said she thought that was an important distinction that should have been in the article about Greensboro needing more police cars.
In terms of recruitment and morale giving police officers the option to take their cars home is a big boost. The Greensboro City Council constantly uses comparisons to other cities as a reason for increasing pay, spending more money and passing new ordinances.
According to the report that compares the cities of Apex, Asheville, Chapel Hill, Concord, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, High Point, Mooresville, Raleigh Wilson and Winston-Salem. It appears Greensboro is one of the few cities that doesn’t allow police officers to take their cars home. Most of the cities have roughly the same number of vehicles as sworn officers. Greensboro has 674 sworn officers and 223 patrol vehicles.
As far as the rest of the article, Vaughan also disagreed with the idea that the city didn’t need to hire an “expensive consultant” to figure out how to make the police department better.
She said that when she recently sat down to do the math and subtract out all of the officers on any given day who are on annual leave, sick leave, administrative leave, in training, etc. “I was horrified at how many cars are actually out in the district.”
Vaughan also noted that while Greensboro was pretty close to average in the number of police officers per 10,000 people that number could be deceiving because Greensboro was larger in land mass than other cities and because the Greensboro Police Department is top heavy with administrators which means it has fewer officers out on patrol.
Vaughan said that she had been meeting with City Manager David Parrish and Assistant City Manager Trey Davis for weeks to discuss these very issues.
And Vaughan said that another reason the city needs to do a serious study on the police department was that, “We need to let the new chief know the shape we are in and put everything on the table.”
Vaughan said she had been pushing for several months to have an in depth study of the police department done to answer questions such as, “Do we have the right staffing for a city of this size considering the population and square mileage?”