The Greensboro Police Department is getting a boost from city leaders to help address a surge in violent crime in the community.

Greensboro City Council approved a motion this week to move forward with two actions. The first one will increase compensation for police officers to be more competitive with other law enforcement agencies in the state.

The starting salary will be more than $40,000 and senior officers will also see a pay bump later this year.

The second action will increase the department's staffing. Councilmember Justin Outling says this comes at a time when homicides are growing in the city.

Last month, Police Chief Brian James told city leaders that twice as many homicides had taken place in Greensboro this year compared to the same time period last year. The city had a record 61 homicides in 2020.

“By increasing the number of positions, it increases the department's budget and it gives the chief greater ability to have existing officers that are already on staff to work more overtime and provide better coverage, better response times and more proactive and community policing,” says Outling.

There are currently around 40 vacant positions for sworn officers in Greensboro's police department.

Outling says a recent study by staff looked at national benchmarks for police response times versus engaging in community and proactive policing. It showed that the city was behind in those areas.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.

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