Greensboro police officers won’t be getting take home cars anytime soon, following action taken by the City Council at the June 1 work session.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan lobbied hard in favor of providing police with take home cars but appeared to be alone in her support. Vaughan noted that it would extend the life of a typical police car from three or four years to eight years.
The cost estimates provided by the city staff included $16 million to $18 million for a new city maintenance garage.
Vaughan asked how adding 20 police cars in the first year could require the city to build a new maintenance garage.
Assistant City Manager Larry Davis said that the city needed a new maintenance facility whether or not the Police Department added more cars, but having 20 additional police cars would accelerate the need.
The cost estimate from the city staff also included both the cost of buying the additional cars and the cost of the Police Department leasing the cars from the city as well as the cost of hiring an additional technician to maintain the 20 brand new cars. The staff, however, did not include the cost of the kitchen sink.
Vaughan noted that all the jurisdictions in the area provided officers with take home cars, which made Greensboro “an outlier when it comes to take home cars.”
Vaughan said that in recruiting police officers, “This is something that is considered a very large benefit.”
Councilmember Goldie Wells said, “It seems like the building inspectors don’t have enough cars to go around.”
Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “The cars would be going to north and northwest Greensboro.”
She added, “This is not something I can support right here, right now.”
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “This is not something that I think we should look at right now.”
Councilmember Tammi Thurm said, “I’m not ready to support this yet.”
Wells also said that she didn’t understand why providing take home cars was necessary and said, “At this time I don’t think this should be at the top of our list.”
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said, “Right now, I could not support this as it is.”
City Manager David Parrish said that take home police cars would not be included in the budget and Vaughan agreed that it did not have council support.
When you consider that the city is currently rolling in money because it just received over $29 million in American Rescue Plan money and will receive an additional $29 million next year, if the City Council doesn’t think it can afford to provide take home police cars this year, it is not because the money is not available.
This only proves the incompetence of our elected officials- as a crime is spiking they can’t do something to help police.
Let’s hope they don’t need the police when they need one – because they certainly don’t support the police.
VOTE THEM OUT!!!
This is a good topic. Having first hand knowledge of seeing our cities Law Enforcement (LE) vehicles parked in our neighborhoods shows the particular city cares! If like I read about the funding is true, then will you council members follow the Mayor’s lead and make this happen. I’ll tell you another thing that’s true, when there is a need in one of the council members neighborhoods it will be signed, sealed, delivered and it will be unanimous in vote. Let’s do what we can for the safety of our city and council members consider this, every police officer that takes their vehicle home, when returning to duty goes in-service from their home. An officers car is equipped with exactly what they need to perform their daily duties. It is very hard to be that in-service police officer in your civilian vehicle.
Where is Outling on this?Vaughn is right on this one.The comments from councilmembers quoted here are truly obtuse.
Move if you are able.
jimMy- I was wondering the same thing. I know in words he has been half heartedly courting the police department. However, Outling will not support the police. Nancy may be the person we know in this situation.
All these comments by the council by the council make absolutely no sense. Just WHAT do they think when the City of Greensboro can’t attract top notch officers is going to happen? Every damn one of them need to be replaced. Am I the only one in the area that think these people are nuts? The federal money is there. USE IT!!!
The council members who voted against take home cars, even when purchased by the stimulus money, actually want that money to continue to flow to their “non-profits” which is tied to voting blocks in the community. It’s all about politics, not what’s best for Greensboro.
Whenever we have our next election, vote for anyone other than the current council.
Hey Mr. Hammer, you should ask for the number of calls per district and then the breakdown of calls by violent/non-violent crime. I guarantee that Ms. Hightower is wrong in her assessment as usual. But who cares about facts when you can make irrational, incorrect comments from the dais. I do not know of one instance in the interminable amount of time that she has been on the council where she has voted for anything positive for the police or the parts of town that are not the “east side.”
Another statistic I would like to see is where the property tax base lives. The base that pays for every grant and special project for the east side.
There is always more than one way to do things. Our council members are de-funding the police and think we are stupid. I hope they never need assistance during shift change. VOTE THEM OUT!!!!! Get rid of all incumbents.
This entire council, Outling included since he voted NO, is saying that they are pro-police but their actions show that they are not. And no, the extra 1.8% raise they awarded the cops does not make them pro-police. The agency is still not on par with HPD and GCSD. You should note that whenever the budget people talk about GPD’s new pay rate, they always say, “As compared to other agency’s base salary.” Well sure, GPD’s new base salary might technically beat GCSD or HPD by a few dollars, but they offer bonuses for people with a degree, with military, with second language, etc. Almost no one in these other agencies is actually starting at their base pay, but in Greensboro, there are no incentives so everyone is at base pay.
THEY ALL ALSO OFFER A TAKE HOME CAR. How ignorant do we, the voters, have to be not to see that the council members are making token moves to say one thing while their critical moves say something else entirely. By intentionally making GPD non-competitive in the job market, this council, to include Outling, in no way supports our police.
You can even say that the ones who openly do not support the police are further contributing to the issues that they say they are against. If you do not want uneducated, untrained buffoons running around with badges and making life or death decisions about your citizens, then you need to have the ability to attract the highly educated, highly qualified candidates. By not offering incentives to do just that, the council is signing off on GPD accepting the bottom of the barrel when it comes to police officer qualifications.
So when a minimally qualified officer from GPD gets involved in a questionable incident in the near future, sure you should hold that officer accountable if they did wrong. But let’s not forget how that officer came to be here. Council has said through their own actions that they do not want the best candidates here. They have said through their actions that they are fine with GPD providing you, the voter, with minimally a qualified police force. They have said, through their own actions, that they do not care about you or your safety. Hold them accountable too.
some police get take home cars. my neighbor has his car and having that car next door helps me feel safer. I feel like it is a deterrent for anyone looking to break into houses on our street. maybe the answer is to heavily recruit officers from Hightower’s district and others in the southern portion of the city. what do you say Hightower? Think you can convince some young men and women to join the force?
This city deserves some new clear thing councilmem/women!
This is something I will fight strongly for if I’m returned to City Council. Tony Wilkins for Greensboro City Council.
Having a police car parked next door is like having the police on duty 24 hours a day. I feel so much better too just knowing that the police is there ALL the time. And its one of the best ideas ever too. Even going for a walk in my neighborhood is more comfortable and I feel safer too. Really good idea!!!
This shows the city council does not care about the quality of law enforcement in Greensboro’s future. Take-home cars for all the officers is a win-win situation that cuts costs in the long run while allowing the department greater flexibility in deploying officers during normal and extreme circumstances. After a storm tore Greensboro up many years ago, off-duty officers were called in to assist. Some responded to calls in their personal vehicles. The same goes for officers who serve on special teams.
When Greensboro competes in the ever-shrinking pool of applicants, how many quality applicants will look to other cities that pay equal or better AND provide a take-home car?
Even small town Mt. Airy is letting their police take cars home.