06/26/13 — Officials: Call-in program working

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Officials: Call-in program working

By John Joyce
Published in News on June 26, 2013 1:46 PM

None of the offenders who attended the first Goldsboro Partners Against Crime call-in in March have reoffended, police say.

A second call-in is scheduled for July 16.

The Goldsboro Partners Against Crime, a community based initiative run by the Goldsboro Police Department and comprised of several local and federal law enforcement agencies as well as community partners, is taking steps to combat violent crime in the city and Wayne County.

The success of the program can only be measured long-term, but early indicators suggest that GPAC is working, officials say.

The new crop of offenders to be notified in July will, in effect, act as a second sampling for the experimental program.

"We have a list of 44 (offenders), and by Wednesday we'll start weeding some out. We'll have no more than 10 to 13 present because there is so much work involved," said Sgt. Teresa Chiero, Goldsboro Police Department's GPAC coordinator.

She cited a drop in shots fired calls and other violent crime statistics as well as a rise in the number of tips pouring in from the community as evidence of GPACs impact.

Several of the offenders notified at the first call-in are now employed and taking advantage of some the community assistance programs offered to them in March.

Based on a model that has been successful in the city of High Point, the Goldsboro program pairs community outreach programs, the school system, housing authority and the faith community with law enforcement and the courts to warn violent offenders their day has come.

After they have been notified, the offenders' names are added to national databases.

"In one database, I'm probably tracking now 1,300 (people) and I still get hits on them from the first (call-in), but there are a lot of offenders in town," Sgt. Chiero said.

The hits so far have all been for minor traffic violations, but they prove the tracking system works.

A recent wave of face-to-face notifications was conducted when the Division of Probation and Parole asked GPD to help them arrest several offenders who were in violation of their probation.

Sgt. Chiero said anytime a law enforcement agency, whether it be GPD, probation, the Sheriff's Office or another agency, conducts a sweep like that, the offenders will be notified and then monitored from that point forward.

Rebuilding Broken Places and Wayne County Public Schools are doing their part also. The difference is that now, through GPAC, more and more people are becoming increasingly aware of the programs available to help them.

That, coupled with an increase in citizens willing to come forward with information regarding the crimes that take place in their own communities, is what has and will continue to reduce crime in the city, Sgt. Chiero said.