GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Throughout his time leading the Greensboro Police Department, Chief Wayne Scott said crime in the city has changed.
"It’s so much easier now to communicate with people across the state or across the nation that you see the violence also follows that," Scott said.
Sitting down with FOX8 ahead of his planned retirement in January, Scott said that they've seen an increase in the number of guns confiscated in the city.
"We’ve seen more of the quasi-military stuff now, we’re seeing more of the assault rifles, AK-47s, those kinds of things," Scott said. "Luckily, we don’t see them everyday but we’re seeing more than we have in years past."
A spokesperson for the Greensboro Police Department said officers seized 115 guns in 2018. So far in 2019, they've confiscated 125.
"We’ve also seen that the people that are pulling those triggers are actually younger than they were years ago, and so our youth and the perspective that they solve problems with violence seems to be something that as a nation we’re going to have to address," Scott said.
He explained that teenagers as young as 16 are identifying as gang members, which is something officers are tracking so they can prosecute differently.
“I don’t think we have nearly the gang problem that many cities our size have, particularly if you look up north or out west," Scott said. "We do have crime, but a lot of times, its random crime. It’s driven by personal need. It’s driven by interactions."
Scott said Monday that he is proud of his officers' outreach efforts, and he hopes will continue under the next department leader.
"I think police in this community have responded well. Not just speaking for GPD but speaking for all our police partners, were all working to try and get those prolific offenders off the street," Scott said.
He announced his retirement in August, saying that he looks forward to spending more time with his family.
Scott became the police chief in March 2015 and joined the Greensboro Police Department in 1991.
The city held a series of meetings to gain public comments about what they hope to see in Greensboro's next chief of police.