Greensboro police chief addresses recent violence in the city

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Monday, three people were killed in three separate shootings across Guilford County. The shootings were within hours of each other.

Tuesday afternoon, FOX8 sat down with both Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott and Captain Nathaniel Davis to talk about the violent trend.

“These are three separate incidents of individuals involved in high-risk lifestyles, which created environments that put them at risk,” Scott explained.

He says the department in recent months has taken a proactive approach to eliminating one of the threats the community faces.

“We are actually taking a record number of illegal guns off the street on a nightly basis,” Scott said.

Davis, the man who heads up these investigations, says the violence is a concern for the department.

“We want to find out why are people resorting to gun violence,” Davis said.

Davis says that police saw a dip in violent crimes at the beginning of the year, but that recently it has picked up.

“Unfortunately, in May and in the first of June, we saw those numbers go back up,” he said.

In response to Monday’s shootings, the department has now authorized overtime to put more officers on patrol in the areas where those shootings happened.

“One, to be the face if people need to talk to us. If they need to relay information. But two, to let our community know that we are there,” Scott said.

Q&A with Chief Scott:

What are you guys doing now? You talk about more officers, but does that mean more Safer City Summits? Does that mean beefing up the Gun Stoppers program which launched last year?

“All the things you mentioned and more. We have seen success and it’s kind of ironic that we are talking about success following a day like we had, but statistically we are in a better place than we were last year. All of our violent crime categories are actually down.”

Can we actually pinpoint it as far the violence? Is this gang-related? Is it stolen guns? Is there one thing?

“It’s not that simple, but I can tell you that there are some factors that we see over and over. One, in Greensboro in the last six months the majority of folks that have fallen victim to this have experienced high-risk lifestyles. What does that mean? That they are involved in activities that put them at a higher risk than the general population whether that be illegal or drug-related or some combination thereof.”

Both Scott and Davis say they’ve heard the criticism about the department not doing enough and say the goal is to continue working in different communities to build relationships.

“I think community members themselves have just gotten tired of seeing the violence in their communities. So, what we’ve seen is an increase in community members stepping up with information,” Davis said. “There’s also a culture of violence that is happening in this country that we have to address. The only way we can address that is if we come together.”

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