Greensboro City Councilmember Hugh Holston must have learned pretty quickly that you don’t often get what you asked for on the City Council.
The Greensboro City Council has been extremely hesitant to take the necessary action to fill the ranks of the Greensboro Police Department, which is short over 100 employees, and vast majority of those are patrol officers.
At the Nov. 1 City Council meeting, Holston made a motion that the GPD and city staff develop a program that would bring the GPD to full staffing in 18 to 24 months. Holston got a lot of pushback from his fellow councilmembers but stuck to his motion with the addition that the report be presented to the City Council by the second meeting in December.
The report that was supposed to be on what it would take for the GPD to hire an additional 100 employees was given to the City Council at the Thursday, Dec. 2 virtual work session.
Although Holston praised the report given by Police Chief Brian James, it appeared that the phrase “without spending any additional money” had been added to Holston’s original motion.
For the Police Department to reach its full staff in two years, it would need to hire about 220 new officers during that two-year period because the GPD loses about 60 officers a year through attrition. Hiring 220 new officers in two years would mean that each Greensboro Police Academy class would need to graduate about 55 officers. James has said that the maximum number of officers a class can handle is about 40.
Another way to fill the gap would be to attract a large number of experienced police officers from other departments. But the recommendations of James is that police officers receive the same bonus as the city already provides for “hard to fill” positions, which in this case would be $2,208.
So all this does it puts the Police Department on par with the other departments that are already offering this bonus.
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter noted that Raleigh offered a $5,000 bonus to experienced police officers.
James also recommended that bonuses be offered to those with prior military service and that the bonus for new hires who are bilingual be increased from $500 to $1,250 per year for oral proficiency and from $1,000 to $2,500 for those with oral and written proficiency.
James also recommended that officers and other personnel working the night shifts receive a bonus of $2,880 a year.
James made it clear that the bonuses and increased pay could be funded in the existing police budget.
Since the Police Department is currently budgeted for 111 unfilled positions, there is a lot of money available in what is called “lapsed salaries.” The total cost of those positions is in the budget which is salaries plus benefits. James is also using his lapsed salary money to pay officers to work overtime to fill in some of the gaps created by the 111 vacancies.
When Holston made the motion on Nov. 1, he said, “It’s time to stop talking and put our money where our mouth is.”
As a result of this report, the City Council will be putting no additional money into the Police Department but will no doubt continue to talk about the need to do something.
Common sense is not convenient.
Another simple reminder of just how cheap talk is within the Democratic controlled Council.
And you are miffed by this? Must not be enough money to go around considering the kick backs and munching on the tax payer dole than numerous council members currently take full advantage of.
Remember when you vote.
TALK! TALK! TALK! This City Council talks everything to death and then leaves it dead in the ditch. But, they’re quick to give away our tax money to non-profits that have other means of funding.
Can’t these people ever learn anything? You are not hiring receptionist, accountants or any other desk job that people do everyday from 8-5 and then go home. You can’t recruit just anybody to be a police officer, it is NOT for everybody. Takes a special kind of person to talk to a scared child who wondered off, to going on a foot chase after a felon known for violence, to comforting a mother who just lost a child to gang war. All in the same night or shift. Pay these people , give them bonus’s for bringing more to the table. Give them the tools to do their job which is protecting us. This city council is just insane and all of them, ALL OF THEM, need to go in March.
$100 bucks some old fart mentions BJ Barnes as the solution in this threat. Go!
One day you will become one of those “old farts” yourself.
Why does it have to be an “old fart” that may mention Bj just curious
I are a old fart. It is an accurate term. As you get older, your digestive system doesn’t process pizza very well anymore. Thus a trail of failure.
Stick to blueberries and gruel.
Because BJ is so old he farts dust!
Well, no. If you look up “old” in the dictionary, you will see my photograph.
City Council, pay attention. Here is the only solution.
Step 1: Find out what the top paying agency in the state is and what non-pay benefits are tops in the state.
Step 2: Restructure GPD with a pay and benefits structure that beats that top agency by at least 5%. (This includes a fully funded take home car program that is in place immediately, not five years from now, geniuses.)
Step 3: Support your police department in words and deeds, and don’t burn them down every time something controversial happens.
There is no step 4.
There is no way to succeed without putting up some big money.
You cannot brainstorm your way out of the hole you have dug for this city.
You can do it now, or you can wait until the bad guys are knocking at your own door and there are no cops available to come help. Take a look at response times and the imagine yourself having to fight off an attacker for that many minutes until your help arrives.
Get your head out of your butts and fix it.
As usual the “proposal” is a joke. Where are the take home cars in the proposal? Explain why an officer would leave their current department to work in Greensboro. How does council or the city managers who report to them expect to “recruit” in the current environment with no additional money? Also, why is the only option the same old 40 officers/two academies a year? If you do the same things, expect the same results.
Half a million a year for no appreciable impact? Hmm, seems like we could tale that wasted money and, oh I don’t know, buy police cars with it…recruit police officers with it…or use it to retain the cops we have before they abandon ship.
I would also like to see the monetary break down as to where exactly that $500k goes every year. Does Yvonne get $30k of that? $100k? How many “administrators” are “supervising” these people on the ground? Like many ideas that are good on paper, the reality is most likely that “administrative overhead” is eating up the bulk of the money. In reality, this program is a loser. The data showed it had no appreciable impact on crime.
Here’s a thought….
Clearly City Council is responsible for our police department and its current predicament. The Chief has made it abundantly clear that GPD is woefully understaffed with no help coming anytime soon because we are not competitive in the job market. So City Council both knows that there is a problem and knows how to fix it. Yet they choose not to.
So when you find yourself the victim of a crime where police took forever to get to you or where you can show that a police force not missing 100 of its officers would have prevented, abated, or solved your crime, I think it’s time to sue. Not the police department, but the City of Greensboro and the Council members themselves. Sue them in both their professional and personal capacities. It would be easy to sjow they are letting personal beliefs influence their professional roles. The corruption is only hidden skin deep. (Ahem, Cure Violence)
Everything they have ever said about police is right there on video for the record. Every vote against funding our agency is on record. Every stupid comment Sharon and friends have said in response to the Chief asking for help is on record. They are willfully refusing to rebuild our police department amd we, the public, are paying the price for it with all time record high crime.
It’s time to make them pay for their decisions by taking legal action against them.
You make them pay at the ballot box. The only sure bet is Hightower will be reelected in her protected district, and Yvonne of course to keep her $$$$ coming in, but hopefully they will be the lone negative votes on everything they propose which will highlight their inability to to do what’s right.
So, we now sue because we have different opinions? What a joke. Get a grip and get actively involved in getting these folks voted out of office. THAT is the process.
What difference of opinion? You don’t want a fully staffed police department? Feel free to go with that.
The police department is missing over 100 officers. That’s a fact. I’m still being taxed to fund a 684 person police department but I’m only getting 584 officers on the street. My tax money is being wasted paying those officers time and a half to try to fill the 100 officer gap. Even so, they are still shorthanded. This is not a viable long term solution. All facts.
GPD is the ONLY agency in the surrounding area that does NOT have a take home car program. That’s a fact. The city council is willfully not helping the chief fix the staffing shortages. Also a fact, just listen to Hightower’s commentary whenever helping the police comes up.
If a citizen or offocer gets hurt because of this staffing shortage, then yes, in my opinion, those victims should sue the council. Imagine your mother, Chris, getting killed because it took the cops 12 minutes to get there instead of 6. It took them twice as long because they had far fewer people on duty than they were authorized to have. You just going to shrug your shoulders and kiss your mama by? OK, yeah right. I’m just saying, if you’re going to sue, sue the ones responsible. The cops didn’t create this staffing shortage. The council did.
The basis of most law suits comes from a difference of opinion any way there, genius. One person alleges wrongdoing, the other refutes, the courts sort it out. THAT is the process.