Crime down in Greenville; Search continues for new police chief

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Violent crimes in Greenville are down 6% in 2015. The improvement comes as the city looks for a new chief. Although crime stats are down for 2015, Greenville Interim Police Chief Ted Sauls does not attribute that to one particular person.

“When everyone is working together toward a common goal, it’s easy to effect change,” Sauls says.

With a national climate of police distrust, Sauls says the Greenville community is joining forces with officers.

“People are now engaged with the police department more than any time I can remember in my career here,” says Sauls. “I attribute a lot of that to the programs that we’ve implemented over the last two to three years.”

“We are at historic lows in major crime categories in the city for the past 2 years,” explains Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas. “It’s a philosophical change in the community and we’re really excited about the direction we’re going in.”

The department is currently operating without an official top cop. The mayor says a new chief will be in place soon.

“We’re going to make the right hire and to do that, we’re down to 3 or 4 candidates and I expect to have some good news here in the next 45 days,” says Thomas.

Sauls says when a new chief is hired, he hopes their vision does not stray too far from the course the department is already on.

“I’ve always told everyone I’ve ever worked with, chiefs, managers, anyone else that Greenville is different,” says Sauls. “You have to recognize, understand and embrace your differences.”

For now, GPD plans to continue to grow community involvement and target the problem areas that are presented through the consistent analysis of the crime statistics.

One of the community outreach events GPD is focusing on in its National Night Out celebration on Tuesday, August 4. For more information, click here.

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