Homicides are up in the city of Greensboro, according to Police Chief Brian James.
At a council meeting Tuesday, James said 12 homicides have taken place in Greensboro so far this year – double what was reported at this point in 2020. The city had a record 61 homicides in total last year.
As a part of its new strategic plan, the department has set a goal of reducing violent crime by 20% by 2022. James also suggested joint community-police efforts could help.
“We've got to find a way to give people opportunities in Greensboro that are reentering after being incarcerated," said James. "Because I'd say that statistically, when I look at who's involved in these violent incidents, that is probably one of the biggest impacts we can make if we as a community can figure that part out.”
The chief later noted that understaffing has become a major problem within the police department.
“This has been a perpetual issue for a number of years," said James. "And unfortunately, right now, I'll tell you as far as staffing, we're in about the worst shape that we've been in in several years.”
The department is in the final stages of a staffing study, which was designed to examine the problem in more depth and offer solutions.