In Greensboro, on Friday, March 12, there were two shooting incidents that resulted in five people being shot, and two later died of their injuries.
In response to this, Councilmember Justin Outling, who is running for mayor, posted a video on his Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/JOutling/ where he begins, “Greensboro, I am sad and frustrated.”
Outling talks about the shootings on Friday and says, “No matter where you live, you have been impacted by the violence which has threatened our streets and threatened our city’s ability to attract new jobs, grow and thrive.”
Outling said, “There are two issues that demand immediate attention. One, we simply don’t have enough police officers on the street when they are needed.” He noted that because of vacancies in the Police Department, the police aren’t meeting their own coverage goals or response times and don’t have time for other important activities like community policing.
The second action that Outling said the city needs to take is, “We need to hire and retain the very best officers. Every year the department has officer turnover and there is a nearly one-year lead time on hiring and training.”
And Outling offered solutions. He said, “First the council should create and vote on a pay structure to better retain and hire police officers.”
Secondly, Outling said that the City Council needed to increase the number of authorized police officers so the department can get ahead of future vacancies and deal with the hiring lead time.
Outling also called for “Monthly council work sessions on crime calendared immediately so the council can work together, discuss and act.”
Outling added, “Now it’s important to understand that the mayor sets the agenda for work sessions, and in all of 2020, a year when there were a record number of homicides, there were only two work sessions on crime.”
Outling said that if the mayor would not schedule the work sessions then councilmembers needed to get together and work on the crime problem.
And he said he was committed to developing solutions that work, “specifically bringing forward a proposal on each of these points by April 6.”
The City Council has a work session on Tuesday, March 16 on new signage for Greensboro, specifically for the downtown area.