GREENVILLE, N.C. — The Greenville Police Department (GPD) Gang Unit was selected as the 2020 Gang Unit of the Year by the North Carolina Gang Investigator’s Association. The unit was formally recognized in August at a ceremony in Winston-Salem.
Thursday, the group was recognized at a ceremony in Greenville (see above video from WNCT’s Erin Jenkins).
Formed in 2006, the Gang Unit currently consists of one Sergeant and six officers, including a K-9 handler. The unit also has designated Gang Intelligence Analysts and utilizes officers from the GPD drone program. During the timeframe for the award nomination (June 1, 2019- May 29, 2020) the Gang Unit seized more than $28,000 in cash, 69 guns, and thousands of grams of drugs. They also made a total of 232 arrests.
Through innovative enforcement strategies to include: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED), Gang Intel Mapping, and Drones; as well as public education and training, the unit has undoubtedly enhanced public safety and quality of life in areas severely impacted by criminal street gangs and has had a direct impact on violent crime rates throughout the City of Greenville. Furthermore, they continue to focus on gun violence initiatives by seizing weapons and removing them off the streets, and arresting violent offenders. In the last two weeks alone, the unit seized 27 firearms from violent offenders (25 of which were located at one location).