Greensboro police chief addresses record gun violence

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A violent year in Greensboro has the chief of police calling upon the community for help.

Chief Brian James, along with Mayor Nancy Vaughn and city council members Dr. Goldie Wells, Sharon Hightower and Marikay Abuzuaiter, held a news conference Monday afternoon addressing the record number of homicides and gun violence in the city. 

“We’ve got criminals now with an even different mindset than we had just a few years ago,” James said.  

Chief James believes more needs to be done with the city’s youth after 11 months of record gun violence..  

“If they’re not in the right environment, those are going to be your shooters in three to five years. If you’re 17 or 18, and you’re using a gun, just three or four years ago, you were probably in middle school somewhere. How do you go from middle school to willing to carry a gun and shoot people?” James questioned.  

2020 saw a 19% increase in Greensboro assaults involving firearms and 56 homicides with one month left in the year. 

“56 and growing. That is not a record that we wanted to set,” Vaughn said.  

It’s a community problem that requires a community response. 

“I, along with every officer and civilian employee of the Greensboro Police Department, find those numbers unacceptable, and we are working diligently to address this problem,” James said. 

City leaders are urging you to report your concerns. 

“We can’t solve it overnight but help us to solve this problem. Do your part,” Councilwoman Dr. Goldie Wells said.  

They say what you prevent today can save a life tomorrow.  

“We have to make sure that each and every night that we go home, we feel our neighbor is safe. We will be safe, and our fellow man will be safe,” Councilwoman Hightower stated. 

The violence, Vaughn explains, is at the top of the city council’s mind.  

 “There is not a day that goes by that we don’t talk about public safety and what we can do to keep the citizens of our city safe,” Vaughn said. 

City leaders are asking for your input and cooperation on reporting issues in your community.  

“I understand it, but I don’t understand it, and that’s why I say we as a community, this is not just a police thing, this is a community thing as we’ve got to figure out what’s going on,” James concluded.  

You can anonymously report issues through Greensboro/Guilford Crimestoppers and by calling (336) 373-1000.  

James tells FOX8 arrests have been made in 30 of the 56 homicides this year. 

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