The Guilford County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, June 9 work session didn’t waste any time getting started.
The first speaker was Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers who gave a report on the recent protests in downtown Greensboro and High Point and also explained that his department’s purchase of an armored ROOK Tactical Vehicle wasn’t done to handle protests, but was instead a move that had been in the works for months.
Rogers said the protests over the death of George Floyd had required the department to help control things inside Greensboro and High Point, as well as to continue protecting the rest of the county.
He said that the trying time had demonstrated the need for his department to have more officers. He requested for eight new patrol positions to be added to the county’s 2020-2021 budget that’s expected to be adopted later this month.
“We’re seeing how it put a strain on our team,” he said of the recent protests and vandalism, adding that the additional officers were being requested “to do what we need to do.”
Rogers also noted that many in the crowds weren’t out to do damage.
“We had a strong group of peaceful protesters,” he said. “I’m very grateful for that.”
As for the purchase of a nearly $300,000 armored vehicle, Rogers said that, unfortunately, some in the community were of the opinion it was bought to control protesters. He said that wasn’t the case.
“We’re not a military organization,” Rogers told the board. “We are a law enforcement organization, and we will never be over-aggressive.”
Instead, he said, the armored vehicle was purchased so that officers would be protected when someone has, for instance, barricaded themselves in a home or other structure and is firing at officers.
Rogers also thanked Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips and Commissioner Skip Alston “for dialoguing with us.” He said it was good to have solid communication taking place with the commissioners.
“It makes a big difference,” Rogers said.
Commissioner Alan Perdue, like Phillips and several other commissioners, thanked Rogers for the job the department was doing.
“Law enforcement is always a difficult job,” Perdue said.