Greensboro police increase enforcement after spike in gun violence; more than 500 illegal guns seized in 2019

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro police have announced that they will be adding more uniformed officers on the streets, following a violent uptick in gun-related crimes in city.

During a Monday news conference, Police Chief Wayne Scott acknowledged that gun violence has increased across the country, and that “Greensboro is no different.”

Since Jan. 1, there have been 17 homicides in the city, with 11 of those being gun-related deaths.

“Gun violence is more of an epidemic and we don’t want to see it grow here,” Scott said.

He went on to say that because of this, the citizens of Greensboro will “see a larger footprint of officers and concentrations, specially on those illegal guns.”

While there has been a spike in homicides, compared to 2017, there have also been a growing number of aggravated assaults involving weapons and shootings into occupied homes. Many of which have involved woman and children being caught in the middle.

Scott said that their focus will continue on illegal guns on the streets.

“It can be a gun that’s been altered, or has a violation of the law because of it’s very existence,” he said.

Authorities announced that more than 500 illegal guns have been pulled out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Scott said that was part good police work, but also large in part community members speaking up when they see dangerous weapons.

A trend across the country, that is being reflected in the Triad, is criminals, “turning to firearms quicker.” This means police are also having to move faster to track down illegal weapons.

Greensboro police said they have partnered with ATF in Georgia to help officers in this process, specifically testing shell casings and bullets from scene.

Which means police have to move quicker. New forensic technology is helping them pinpoint bullet ballistics from scenes in a matter of days, as opposed to weeks or months.

“To verify that information. To say that one gun was used in multiple crimes, or that shell casings match, or that ballistically guns match,” Scott said.

When asked, Scott said he could not say if the spike in gun violence is gang-related, but he said that the shootings are less random.

“There’s always some type of connection when solving these cases. Although it may not be a one to one connection, it may be someone knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone involved in the case,” he said.

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