Violent crime in Greensboro is down in 2021 from the spike in 2020.

Police Chief Brian James, in his report to the City Council, noted that homicides were down in the first half of 2021 compared to the same six months in 2021 that set a record for homicides with 62.

James noted that the widely reported figure for homicides in 2020 of 61 had actually increased to 2022 when a police investigation revealed that a death in December 2020, which was not initially listed as a homicide, was in fact a homicide.  In the first six months of 2021 there were 19 homicides compared to 22 in the same time period of 2020, which is a 14 percent reduction.

Overall, according to the report, violent crime in Greensboro through June 30, 2021 was down 17 percent from 2020.

James said, “If you are following the national news, a lot of cities our size and larger, crime is actually trending up.  We are actually trending down.”

One figure that is up significantly is in the number of firearms seized by the police.

The number of firearms seized has increased 111 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.  James noted that this meant that in the first six months of 2021 police had taken more firearms off the street than in all of 2020.

James said, “This is largely as a result of some of the strategies we have put in place.”

James said he attributed the reduction in violent crime and the tremendous increase in firearms removed from the streets to two key strategies: forming better connections with the community and better connections within the Police Department.

He said that currently the different divisions meet on a regular basis and this has resulted in “getting our people in the right places at the right time.”

James said that the quick dissemination of data on crime patterns by the crime analysts was also an important part of this strategy.

And in the more good news category, James said that the Police Department was doing the final background checks “in the process of hiring a full time crime analyst to focus solely on NBIN [National Ballistics Information Network] leads.”