BYH, overheard Barack saying to Don the Con: 'A copy of my birth certificate is stapled to your indictment'....

Safety first: Officials outline goals for 2019

1 of 6

A vehicle turns left onto Elm Street on Tuesday at the intersection of Charles Boulevard, where new traffic delineators restrict some turns in an effort to reduce crashes.


By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The new year will give the Greenville Police Department a chance to refocus on what Chief Mark Holtzman calls the “Three Cs” — crime, crashes and community policing.

Holtzman, along with Pitt County Sheriff’s Paula Dance and Greenville Fire-Rescue Chief Eric Griffin, answered questions recently about goals for 2019. When it comes to crime, Holtzman said Greenville’s focus for the year is reducing gun violence and the gang violence that is often associated with gun violence. 

One of the ways the department will tackle the issue is through technology, Holtzman said.

“We put a lot of effort into bringing on a new project called Shot Spotter,” he said. “That’s really the latest technology and we’ll join less than 100 cities in the country that have that technology that brings real live information.”

The city council approved a three-year, $615,000 contract with Shot Spotter in October. The system strategically places sensors to pick up the sound of gunfire, pinpoint the location of the shots via computer triangulation and alert officers via smartphones within 60 seconds.

And while Holtzman said the technology will be helpful, it is not a policing panacea. 

“Technology won’t get you the whole way there. You need good cops, you need skilled officers,” Holtzman said. 

Reducing gun violence comes down to how quickly officers can get to the call, how quickly they receive information and how quickly they respond, Holtzman said. 

But gun violence is only one problems that needs to be addressed, he said. Greenville leads the state in the number of vehicular crashes.

“Out of 85 cities that are measured, we are No. 1 for the last two years,” Holtzman said. “This past summer, we really pulled together a team with our engineers, with DOT, our traffic safety officers, and even partnering with Vidant to put together a traffic safety task force.”

The department also is working with engineers to install traffic delineators at five busy intersection in town. Two have been installed on Charles Boulevard so far.

The reflective, flexible poles are arranged in a way to prevent vehicles from entering turning lanes from certain directions. They limit left turns and through traffic at the intersections.

Holtzman also said red light cameras installed at five intersections in November 2017 will continue to play a role in traffic safety. 

“It’s really about education, engineering, and enforcement when you look at reducing crashes,” Holtzman said. 

It’s all part of community policing, he said.

“It’s not a program, it’s a philosophy,” Holtzman said. “Every officer can be doing something every day, and we do, to engage the community to let them know we are out there working for them. From an everyday officer perspective, I’ve asked them to get out of the car, take a walk through a neighborhood, take a walk through a business district, make positive contact with somebody,” Holtzman said.  

Other goals for Holtzman are to improve recruitment and retention of good officers.  

“We are looking at pay incentives, and other wellness programs for our officers and we have a deficit just like every police department in the country does and we are all trying to recruit top candidates from around the area.  We’re focusing heavily on recruiting and retention,” Holtzman said.

Pitt County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Paula Dance said she is focused on keeping her campaign promise of procuring body cameras for deputies.

“Looking forward, there were things I talked about on the campaign trail, and body cameras was one of the big initiatives I did have,” Dance said. “I’ve had some discussion already with the county manager. He knows that is a very big priority for me to bring our department up to the 21st century as well.

Dance added, “I think that’s something that is good for the citizens and good for the officers to have those and I’ve already begun working on how we are going to get those and what it is going to take to get them.”

Another initiative is implementing a program to help inmates struggling with addiction. 

“I’ve already got something set up in January where we will be going forward with getting those things in place and figuring out our operational plan and who from the community we will be involving to help implement that and get it off the ground.”

Dance also briefly addressed school safety and said the sheriff’s office needs additional deputies to accommodate the demand for services by Pitt County Schools. 

“I need to provide two other deputies. I have two more schools that I will need to fill positions that will go towards school safety.”

Overall, Dance said things are going well at the sheriff’s office.  

“I’m very pleased with where we are at and I think our deputies understand my position and my vision as it relates to the community because we are a part of this community; this is where we live, work and play. We want our community to be on board with us and we want to be on board with our community.”

Greenville Fire-Rescue

For the past three years, officials have been working on achieving international accreditation for the department, and Fire-Rescue Chief Eric Griffin said department officials plan to sit before the commission in March in California.

The accreditation body is the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

Griffin said that receiving the credential is highly coveted as only 10 percent of fire departments have the credential nationwide.

As part of the credentialing process, agencies are evaluated in 10 categories including: governance and administration; assessment and planning; goals and objectives; financial resources; programs; physical resources; human resources; training and competency; essential resources; and external systems relationship.

“That’s a pretty huge project where we’ve been looking at all of our policies and procedures, making sure we are benchmarking yourself against cities really throughout the world,” Griffin said. 

“It sets you as an elite department and we had to look at all of our policies, all of our data, our equipment, our stations, making sure we compare that to national benchmarks and we were meeting those benchmarks.”

The fire department also did a self-assessment consisting of more than 243 objectives to make sure the it meets all the standards.

“It’s a huge deal and it’s probably one of the biggest things we’ve ever done.”

Other projects the department is working on include improving its internal policies that were reviewed last year by a firm hired by the city, improve recruitment and retention of firefighters and improve its insurance rating.

Contact Tyler Stocks at tstocks@reflector.com or 252-329-9566.  Follow him on Twitter @TylerstocksGDR


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Crime and Rescue

January 16, 2019

A 32-year-old man was arrested on Thursday on charges he stole nearly $500 worth of merchandise from Academy Sports, according to a case report released by the Greenville Police Department on Tuesday.

The incident took place between 3 and 3:50 p.m. at the store, 3428 S. Memorial Drive. An…

January 16, 2019

WILSON — A man accused of shooting a state trooper in Elm City made his first court appearance on Tuesday morning.

Thirty-six-year-old John David Jones stood before Wilson County District Court Judge John Britt as the charges were read aloud. Jones, clad in an orange jumpsuit, faces multiple…

20190115-105656-john david jones for online.JPG

January 16, 2019

SHARPSBURG — Sharpsburg's mayor pleaded guilty on Monday to driving while impaired in connection to his election-night arrest.

Robert L. Williams Jr. was sentenced to a day in jail, 24 hours of community service and two years probation.

Williams' blood alcohol content was .13, according to…

Williams online.jpeg

January 15, 2019

Greenville Police arrested more than a dozen people last week during an operation they named “Operation Ground Work,” which focused on following up leads developed from prior arrests, interviewing victims, reviewing evidence and conducting research using various law enforcement…


January 15, 2019

Someone forced their way into a home near Lakeforest Elementary school recently and story property valued at more than $13,000, according to a Greenville Police Department report release on Monday.

The incident took place between 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, and 10:40 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, in the…

January 15, 2019

A Farmville woman crossed the centerline, ran off the road and struck a telephone pole before overturning, according to a State Highway Patrol report.

The crash took place at 7:09 p.m. on Jan. 4 near Bell Arthur Road and Ballard’s Crossroads Road.

Tori Moore Strickland was traveling west on…


January 13, 2019

ASHEBORO — A man wanted for a Nov. 19 shooting death in Greenville was taken into custody on Saturday by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office following a short chase on Interstate 73, authorities there reported.

According to a news release from the Randolph office, patrol units were…


January 13, 2019

A Greenville man with a prior DWI conviction was charged again with driving while impaired and a trooper said he had three children in the car with him at the time, according to a weekly review of Pitt County court records.

Dominic Anthony Nocerino, 31, 1795 Heber Hudson Road, was stopped at…


January 12, 2019

Over $3,000 of jewelry and electronics was stolen during a home break-in on Wednesday night, according to a case report released by the Greenville Police Department. 

The incident took place between 4 and 7 p.m. in the 100 block of Fosbury Way, the report said.

The report indicated that the…

January 12, 2019

Greenville Fire-Rescue responded to more than 365 fire and EMS calls from Jan. 3-9. Following is a breakdown:


Jan. 3

■ 1:20 a.m. — medical assist at 2632 Brookridge Circle. Cleared 2:45 a.m.

■ 2:06 a.m. — assist invalid at 1359 S.E. Greenville Blvd. Cleared 2:13 a.m.

■ 5:03 a.…

263 stories in Crime and Rescue. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»