GREENSBORO, NC – Detectives with the Greensboro Police Department will soon, in a way, have new partners. Recently, the department entered into an agreement with the Burlington Police Department.
Detectives in Burlington will shadow detectives in Greensboro to learn different investigative techniques when it comes to solving murders.
BPD Chief Jeffrey Smythe and GPD Chief Wayne Scott tossed around the partnership idea for a while. Burlington, a smaller department, doesn’t have a dedicated homicide unit. Four officers and a supervisor work in the gang crime unit, while six officers work it the department’s property crime unit.
“They (Greensboro) have way more experience in dealing with homicides than we do. We average four to five a year here lately. The highest ever had was nine in a year,” said BPD Assistant Chief Chris Verdeck.
In contrast, Greensboro had 39 homicides in 2016. So, it’s understandable why GPD has close to 100 detectives, nine of which are dedicated solely to homicides.
“We all know that violent crime is a trend that's going up around the country and we’ve seen a spike in violent crime here,” said Captain Nathaniel Davis.
There’s no official start date for when the shadowing will begin. Verdeck said it depends on resources and when there’s opportunity for BPD to have hands on experience.
“When they get a homicide we'll go provided we have a homicide detective to go,” Verdeck explained.
Davis anticipates GPD detectives, who he called highly trained, will share a multitude of techniques.
“Whether that be in interviews or crime scene investigations or just follow up. We want to ensure very aspect of the job has integrity whether that be documenting or taking the case to court.”
The two departments already have agreements in place for K-9 units and bomb squads, so it makes sense for this to be the next step in creating a strong bond between the neighboring cities.
And as Davis explained, there’s opportunity for detectives to share some information about ongoing cases.
“Because the cities are so close, often times people who may be involved in criminal activity go between the two cities.”
It’s not the first time either department have partnered with others. Fayetteville Police shadowed GPD’s Violent Crime Apprehension Task Force in the past. And members of the Graham Police Department worked with BPD on drug officer training prior to BPD forming its own unit.
Verdeck expects the techniques learned will roll into other areas of the department.
“Homicides are big cases and they're very intricate but I can trickle down to smaller cases to just different techniques.”
Once BPD detectives begin heading to Greensboro, any overtime will be paid out of the department’s regular budget.