Two very different theories were heard from city councilmembers about the “crime crescent” in East Greensboro during a discussion led by Assistant City Manager Trey Davis on violent crime at the Greensboro City Council work session on Tuesday, Sept. 3 in the Public Safety Training Center on Church Street.
Maps showing the location of violent crimes in Greensboro going back years show that most of the crimes take place in a crescent shaped area in City Council Districts 1 and 2.
Tuesday, District 1 City Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “We’ve seen this map a thousand times. The majority are in Districts 1 and 2.”
She added, “Maybe they are over reported in Districts 1 and 2 and Districts 3, 4 and 5 don’t report.”
Hightower complained that the map “creates a negative stigma” for her area.
Rather than claiming that the people in Districts 3, 4 and 5 don’t report crimes that are being committed, District 2 Councilmember Goldie Wells had a different explanation for the maps.
Wells said, “Folks are mad, angry and just disgusted because they don’t have jobs and good housing. Their basic needs are not being met and that causes unrest. People on the other side of town are not worried about that kind of thing so they’re not shooting each other and killing each other.”
Wells said that she thought one of the most effective ways to combat the violence was the Community Watch program but that not as many neighborhoods were involved with Community Watch as in the past.
Hightower also complained that community policing wasn’t working because police officers kept getting transferred and once people got to know the officers assigned to the area they were moved.
Police Chief Wayne Scott said, “We’re too large a city to do Mayberry type policing.”
He said, “We have a police force of 700 people in a city of 300,000.”
Scott said that to expect everybody in the city to have a personal relationship with a police officer was “an unrealistic expectation.”