Greensboro's top police official says that while violent crime in the city is on a downward trend, there is more work to be done.

Chief Brian James told the City Council on Thursday that Greensboro's violent crime statistics are lower than during the same period last year, defying national trends.

The News & Record reports James presented an array of positive statistics that include a reduction in overall violent crimes by 17 percent. He also said his department has seized more than double the number of illegal firearms than were picked up at this time a year ago.

But while the chief promoted social programs designed to address violent crime, he admitted that poverty is still the root cause of the problem.

That sentiment was underscored by Councilwoman Goldie Wells, who said crime maps reflect that Districts 1 and 2 in east Greensboro show “a legacy of neglect” when it comes to employment and education. 

Wells said the police department cannot take all the blame, and that it was up to City Council to target a multitude of contributing factors including poverty, inadequate housing, and insufficient internet access.

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