The Greensboro Police Chief visits a number of communities for the Nationwide Evening Out and addresses efforts to curb violent crime

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – Community policing is part of fighting violent crime in Greensboro.

“You can’t protect the neighborhoods if you don’t have a good relationship between the police and the community,” said Brian James, Greensboro police chief.

According to the Greensboro Police Department’s crime analysis released Monday, homicides are down 28 percent this year compared to the same point in time in 2020.

In August 2020, Greensboro was at a record pace with 32 homicides. There were 23 homicides that year.

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“I’m still not happy about this because we still have 23 families who lost a loved one this year,” said James. “There is still more to be done.”

Greensboro Police Department needs 90 more sworn officers to join the force. There are currently 601 sworn officers, but the police have the authority to serve 691 sworn officers.

“The shortage certainly harms us because we cannot do our job,” he said.

The shortage leaves the officials with no time to lose

“We have to be very aware of how we use people,” said James. “We pay very close attention to when something happens and what times of the day to make sure we have people where they need to be.”

The police are examining the possibility of using civilian traffic investigators for minor accidents. It would set up sworn officers to respond to more serious situations.

“We look at the different types of calls we’re responding to,” said James. “We try to be smarter in the future in order to use our resources optimally.”

NEXT → Greensboro Police are investigating the possibility of using a civilian traffic investigator to deal with minor accidents

James told FOX8 that crime prevention and resolution are most effective when you trust the people who live in the community.

“Community relationships are really the lifeblood of our work,” he said. “If we don’t have these relationships, we can’t be effective in the community.”

James stopped in several neighborhoods on Tuesday for the National Night Out. It was an opportunity for those behind the badge to meet the people they serve.

“We have to build these relationships every day of the year,” he said. “This is only due to the regular interaction with the people we serve, but also to various community initiatives.”

James said everyday interactions make all the difference.

“When we sit down and talk, we realize that we are all human and want the same thing,” said James. “We want to raise our families. We want to protect our communities. “

James told FOX8 that he hopes about 40 officers will join the police soon. One of the largest courses at the Police Academy in the past three years will begin on September 1st. He said the training would take 10 months before officers start patrolling.

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