In 2021, the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) operated most of the year about 100 officers short of its full authorization of 691.
Greensboro Police Chief Brian James told the City Council in December 2021 that what the GPD needed to do was have Greensboro Police Academy Classes of about 40 for several years to get back up to full strength.
The GPD loses about 60 officers a year. Most of those officers retire, but officers also leave to join other agencies, resign to pursue other careers and some are fired. But according to James, the 60-a-year attrition rate has been fairly constant.
The GPD also has two Police Academy classes a year. That means that for the GPD to remain where it is, lacking about 100 officers, each class needs to have about 30 graduates who then finish their in-field training and become police officers.
Looking at the most recent Police Academy classes, the situation is getting worse, not better. The current class has 30 cadets, but not all of them will graduate, complete field training and become police officers.
The last Police Academy class graduated 17, the one before that 12 and before that 19. Anything less than 30 results in the total number of officers going down, not up. So during the last year and a half the police department through normal attrition lost about 90 officers and gained 48. Simply based on the average rate of attrition of 60 officers a year during the last year and half the GPD would be down about 42 officers.
These numbers ignore lateral entries, experienced police officers who transfer into the GPD, but there don’t appear to be enough of those currently to move the needle enough to make a big difference.
At the Nov. 1, 2021 meeting, the City Council passed a motion made by City Councilmember Hugh Holston to have James come back to the City Council in December and tell them what was needed to bring the GPD up to full force in 18 to 24 months.
James made a number of recommendations on Dec. 2, including offering a bonus of $2,208 to experienced officers that transferred into the GPD, and offering bonuses to new hires for military service and for being bilingual.
The City Council took no action, but Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter did note that the Raleigh offered transfers in the police department a $5,000 bonus.
What the City Council did do this year was raise police salaries to be on par with other police departments in the area. However, when bonuses other departments offer are considered, Greensboro is still lower than some other departments in the area and far lower than the highest paid police departments in the state.
So, if the GPD continues its current hiring pattern, in the next couple of years it is on track to be down by about 200 officers rather than only 100.
As long as you have Tammy and Nancy, who are not pro-law enforcement, and who obviously have an influence over other Council members, there will not be an marked improvement in GPD. The only thing that Council has done in the way of law enforcement in the past two years is to load $900,000.00 into the pockets of another Council member, Yvonne Johnson, to administer the Cure the Violence program, which, by all standards has been a total waste of taxpayer funds. They are aware of this, and I can assure you they will throw more good money after bad in 2022.
Money talks – and with the current state of our country, this is the only thing that is going to bring back young people to law enforcement. When you can sit at home behind a computer screen and make double or triple the amount of money a police officer makes with no risk to your own life, why would you choose law enforcement? Treated like the enemy by the very people you are trying to protect. Risk going to prison for making a mistake. Risk life and limb to catch the criminals and some pencil pushing DA refuses to prosecute. No support from city mayors or governors unless it’s advantageous for said mayor or governor in an election year.
GSO is a bad city to be a policeman in-lots of reasons for that.I doubt our present government can fix it-lots of reasons for that as well.
There are other places to find those careers-better places with better governance.
If we are ever allowed to have an election,it might behoove the voters to consider public safety before ethnicity when electing a government.
It’s hard to be concerned about social justice when someone is stealing your property or threatening your life.
How about a take home car like everyone else in the state? I know several High Point officers who live in Greensboro. They would never work for GPD. Officers want to work in an environment that does not hang them out to dry, provides similar benefits to other agencies, and has leadership that is not focused on hall walking and coasting to retirement. And maybe a promotional process that is not total demographic, ass kissing BS. The morale of the department is as low as it has ever been. Part of the problem is law enforcement in general, however, this city does NOTHING to engender anything other than malaise. Our city council approves MILLIONS of dollars on a consent agenda and spends hours talking about a five year plan for vehicles.
GPD can hire 40 for every academy and 20 something will finish. It is a math equation. No one in the city or PD can do math? And you can have all of the experience bonuses you want. It is a one time bonus, eaten up by taxes, and state required donations to retirement. Why would someone leave their agency? Come up with some new ideas. City Council how about challenging your department heads and yourselves to come up with innovative solutions to the problem.
Officers leave agencies when they don’t feel they are being paid enough and not being supported by their governing bodies. Greensboro doesn’t check either of those boxes. Why would someone leave a place where they don’t feel they are being adequately compensated nor supported to come to a place where they can get that again? A lot of these comparable agencies in regards to salary don’t have anywhere near the call volume that the 3rd largest city in the state has. It’s simple you can work less and get paid fairly equally with what you would make at GPD or make a little more and run the risks that comes with that job.
It requires money for people to want to work there. No one on council wants to hear it or do it but it is going to require at least another 10% across the board raise to pique interest in coming there. Everyday they wait it is only going to get worse and more expensive.
City of Hickory is paying Police Officer $45,000 a year to start, and more than that if they hold advanced certificates, have prior experience, etc.
What this means is simple . . . .even Hickory is ahead of Greensboro, in more ways than just police pay.
Hickory is a boom-town.
Here’s something else about police officers and what they have to prove before they are hired. Take a look and see if there are hundreds of people who have not been in violation of one of these key points about becoming a police officer. From the web pages of North Myrtle Beach police department.
And we have politicians who want to bash police and give them pittance for their bravery . . .for us!