An unwritten rule for attorneys is that you never ask a witness a question if you don’t already know the answer.

Following a question asked by City Councilmember Tammi Thurm at the Tuesday, Feb. 7 meeting, that might be a good rule for councilmembers to consider.

At that meeting, Thurm asked for the “truth” about the status of additional police patrol cars to correct some news articles written lately.

The truth is that the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) does not provide take-home police cars for patrol officers while every law enforcement agency that the GPD competes with for officers does provide take-home police cars.

The City Council was told that the GPD would need an additional 100 patrol cars to provide take-home cars for all patrol officers and, as Thurm found out, the GPD currently has provided zero additional cars for patrol officers.

At the meeting Thurm said, “I wanted to ask Assistant City Manager Trey Davis if he could speak to the police cars.  There have been articles written lately about the status of police cars, etc.  If you could speak to how many are on order, what the situation is, I know they were backlogged for quite some time, if you could provide us some truth to that information.”

Thurm didn’t say it, but it appears she is referring to a recent article in the Rhino Times that noted that, despite numerous requests, GPD patrol officers still don’t have take-home police cars.

Assistant City Manager Trey Davis said, “Due to things out of our control with the manufacturer closing windows and different things that are probably impacting our whole country, it has really slowed down.  But I can tell you about a report I got today that of the 20 cars, you know, we did them in phases, nine of them have arrived, seven of them should be arriving in the next few days.  Of those nine that have arrived, that’s a pretty lengthy process.  We have to go out and use other vendors, but hopefully we’ll have those nine and a few others up on line in early March.  Again the plan is to continue ordering 20 in each stage, in year two and then in year three.”

He added that when the cars do become available, he’s going to consult with Police Chief John Thompson about the best way to deploy the nine or more cars to help with recruiting and retention.

So, the GPD needs 100 additional police cars in order to be on par with other law enforcement agencies. The City Council agreed to purchase 20 percent of what was needed on Nov. 17, 2021, and currently the GPD has not provided a single additional police car for patrol officers.

It’s good to be able to get the truth out there.