Greensboro communities weigh in on police chief search at first public meetings

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – On Monday, community members gathered to discuss the search for a new Greensboro police chief at two public input meetings. The city announced it would be getting feedback on its search for the position after Chief Wayne Scott announced his retirement. He will turn in his badge at the end of January. Developmental Associates, the group managing the search, asked attendees at both meetings four questions related to the communities relationship with police, how the department is being ran and the qualities a chief should possess. “We want someone who is going to be fair and honest,” said Brenda Barksdale. Several people attended the first meeting at Chavis Library in east Greensboro Monday afternoon. Many issues were discussed, but the need for transparency was brought up several times. “Lack of transparency. A lack of trust or lack of racial equity,” said Byron Gladden, a GCS school board member. Some people said the future chief needs to make sure officers are trained on how to interact with people suffering from mental health or substance abuse problems. “Work with people who are more equipped to deal with the situation whether that be social workers or mental health workers,” said Jess St. Louis. Other people also said they want the future chief to be familiar with or quickly learn Greensboro’s history. Those who attended the first meeting said they left like the conversations went well. “I thought it was a good meeting with a lot of interaction between attendees and the consulting group and they seem to be really receptive,” said Luther Falls Jr. “I think they definitely got the point,” Gladden said. “The point was heard from the youngest to the room to the oldest in the room that we need someone that can bring about change.” People at both meetings were concerned about the times and locations of the public input sessions. After hearing these complaints, the assistant city manger for public safety says the city is now looking into adding more meetings. Right now, three more sessions are scheduled. Tuesday, Sept. 24, noon, Glenwood Branch Library, 1901 W. Florida St. Monday, Sept. 30, noon, Hemphill Branch Library, 2301 W. Vandalia Rd. Tuesday, Oct. 1, noon, Benjamin Branch Library, 1530 Benjamin Pkwy. An online survey is also available for people who cannot attend. Click here to see the survey.

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