The rumors that the Greensboro Police Department is losing an unusual number of police officers through resignation and retirement are not true.
Some of these rumors are so precise that they state the number of officers who have resigned and transferred to other police departments, but being precise doesn’t make them accurate.
The truth is that since the nationwide “defund the police” movement began in late May, the number of resignations and retirements from the Greensboro Police Department is on track for a normal year. The number at this point is a little less than the same period in 2019.
From June 1 through August 17, the Greensboro Police Department had seven police officers resign and four retire. During that same period in 2019, the Greensboro Police Department had seven officers resign and nine retire.
On average the Police Department loses between 50 and 55 officers to retirement and resignations during the year.
So as far as retaining officers, the Greensboro Police Department is doing a good job despite all the turmoil.
There was some effort on the Greensboro City Council to defund the Police Department. It wasn’t called that, but City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy made several suggestions about transferring money and personnel out of the Police Department to other departments.
The opposition of City Councilmember Goldie Wells and Mayor Nancy Vaughan seemed to put a stop to those efforts. Wells said the people in her district wanted more police, not fewer police in their communities.
Vaughan noted that when Police Chief Brian James was holding community forums that most neighborhoods associations said they wanted more police presence in their neighborhoods.
The City Council also by the slimmest of margins voted not to require police officers to have a written consent form signed before conducting a consent search. Police officers will be able to continue document obtaining the consent with body worn camera video.
The Greensboro Police Officers Association was adamantly opposed to the signed consent form policy and the City Council listened.
By contrast, Asheville – which has had an active defund the police movement and the City Council has considered reducing the police budget – has seen 31 officers resign this year. Asheville has 283 police officers in the department, so that represents 13 percent of its police force.
The Greensboro Police Department has 787 sworn officers and 13 percent of that would be 102.