Greensboro is on track to break another record that nobody wants to see broken.
As of Friday, March 19, 2021, Greensboro had 11 homicides reported this year. At the same date in 2020, six homicides had been reported in Greensboro.
That sounds like bad news, but it is much worse when you consider that in 2020, Greensboro set an all-time record for homicides with a total of 61 for the year.
The previous record was set in 2019 with 45 homicides.
It is also worth noting that 2020 started off the year with a triple homicide on Jan. 1, so at the very beginning of 2021, the 2020 figures were higher than 2021.
If the homicide rate in Greensboro continues to almost double the 2020 homicide rate, Greensboro could have over 100 homicides in the year. When you consider that in 2018 there were 40 homicides, that would be an enormous increase in just three years.
The last work session the City Council held on the Greensboro Police Department was Dec. 7, 2020, and that was the second of two work sessions held during 2020 on the GPD, despite the fact that the city was setting a record for the number of homicides.
The City Council took no action to offer the GPD assistance during or after that work session.
The homicide rate is the most talked about, but it isn’t only homicides that have been increasing. At the Dec. 7 meeting, Police Chief Brian James reported that aggravated assaults were up 8 percent from 2019 and assaults with firearms increased by 17 percent.
Councilmember Justin Outling has been asking for at least one work session a month on the GPD and violent crime, but Outling has frequently requested work sessions on topics of concern and rarely gets them.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan recently noted that the salaries for GPD officers were well below some cities in the state but proposed no action to raise the salaries before the 2021-2022 budget is approved in June.