High Point police looking to recruit eight new officers

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HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point Police Chief Kenneth Shultz admits that the department is having a hard time keeping up with the number of calls for service and would like to be more proactive than reactive.

Last year, High Point City Council approved grant funding for four new officer positions through the state Department of Justice.

“This year we’re going to ask for the other half of those other eight officers and figure out where the best way to deploy them,” Shultz said.

Chief Schultz said the eight positions will go toward a focus of three different goals, allowing more time for officers to connect with neighbors they serve, assist in crime analysis data collection and a supervisor position for community events.

Chief Shultz said the department offers several community programs such as neighborhood watch, coffee with a cop, citizens’ academy, a ride along program, High Point Community Against Violence meetings and departmental open houses.

He said the biggest hurdle he has is informing the public of those events and getting them to participate.

“Our frustration is we’re constantly having events and opportunities for the community to come see us and meet with us and for us to get together and they’re not taking advantage of that,” Shultz said.

He said officers don’t have the time and resources to go door-to-door and still be able to fulfill their other responsibilities of responding to calls in a timely manner and investigate traffic accidents. Shultz hopes the addition of the officers will allow that time.

Though property crimes and drug activity remain a constant focus for the department, Chief Shultz said violent crimes is their number on priority.

“Violent crimes are a priority and unfortunately the way it works the drug and gang violent crime related, they’re all tied together,” Shultz said. “This year we’ve had seven homicides already for the year, that’s what we ended up for the total last year. We have been able to make arrests in five of the cases right now and unfortunately if I’m not mistaken, the numbers are around 15 people that have been arrested in the five homicides out there.”