GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Violent crime in Greensboro is up this year, and homicides and assaults involving a firearm have doubled.

One of the biggest issues police departments across the Triad are facing is not having enough staff. Help is needed at police departments in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Asheboro and more.

It’s why people who live in the areas where crime happens the most are trying their own methods to help reduce the bloodshed.

Anthony Morgan is a community activist who works to reduce crime in his community through events and programs for youth.

“We try to support each other whether it’s a community clean up, whether it’s a guns down, gloves up event, whether it’s just trying to speak to kids in high schools,” Morgan said.

With more crime, comes more vigilant neighbors. Neighborhood watch programs and initiatives have become more prominent in cities around the Triad like Neighbors For Better Neighborhoods in Winston-Salem.

“We are doing the type of work every single day to reach out to these youth even in a personal way…to build relationships with these kids to try to understand what they’re going through to see what’s creating all this that we’re looking at. All of these murders that are happening back to back,” Morgan said.

Morgan says he’ll continue healing his community through activism even if he can only make a small difference.

A spokesperson with the Greensboro Police Department says they’re working to reduce the crime numbers.

“The department has done a number of things to address violent crime. While we cannot attribute the decrease or increase of any particular stat to one thing there has been a focus on getting guns off of the street, looking at violent repeat offenders, and getting officers and resources to the right parts of the city to focus on reducing and preventing crime.

We also focused on connecting people with resources through our community coordinator and special teams like our Behavioral Health Response Team and Homeless Response Team. There was also a renewed focus on getting into neighborhoods and working with residents. Our patrol districts conducted regular community walks, we continued programs like operation pass to give school supplies to students, and partnered with community organizations to do the 500 jobs for youth.”

–Greensboro Police Department spokesperson