By Joshua Davis
HIGH POINT, North Carolina (WXII) — This summer has seen a rise in violent crimes across the Triad, with some areas seeing multiple in the span of just a few days. However, unlike many of its neighbors, the city of High Point is experiencing a reduction in violent crime.
High Point police say their number one focus is violent crime, and in particular, gun violence. While trends do show that things are getting better, police say they can’t afford to rest on their laurels.
“It’s probably the most impactful thing for your community, it can really derail your community that fast,” said High Point police Chief Travis Stroud.
Stroud says as of Aug. 1, 2023, his department has seen a 5% reduction in violent crimes since August of last year. He adds before that, violent crime was down 7%.
“We’re progressively getting better,” he said. “That tells me that the officers that are out here on the street are actually getting the work done. In combination [with our] work with the community, something’s going right here.”
Stroud believes some of this success may come from what he calls High Point’s proactive enforcement efforts. He describes it as officers focusing in on areas where crime is at its highest, and homing in on individuals who are the main drivers behind it.
When asked about the difference between High Point’s crime statistics in comparison to Winston-Salem’s and Greensboro’s, Stroud says the difference in stats doesn’t mean those cities aren’t using the same strategies. He says that when it comes down to it, there’s a little bit of luck that goes into the process.
He added the city’s success doesn’t just come from law enforcement, but also the work of community partners.
“Preventative efforts are the big thing,” he said. “We have our High Point Community Against Violence, our community partners out there who really get out in front and try to do those preventative efforts go a long way.”
Rhonda Wagner, the assistant executive director of High Point Community Against Violence, says it takes a village to tackle the problem of violent crime, especially in preventing young people from getting involved.
“As they’re growing up, they mimic what they see,” Wagner said. “If you’re in a household that [those] things are going on, typically, that young individual is going to do the same thing.”
Stroud says he hopes violent crime stats continue to trend down through the rest of the year. However, there’s no guarantees, and law enforcement still needs to be prepared.
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