WSPD on pace to seize over 1,000 guns in 2022

WSPD on pace to seize over 1,000 guns in 2022
June 15
14:17 2022

In 2020 and 2021 the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) seized 1,000 guns, and with shootings and deadly crime at an all-time high, they’re expected to seize even more than that this year. 

According to Assistant Chief Wilson Weaver, as of June 6 the WSPD has already seized 509 guns. While giving a presentation on initiatives the WSPD has in place to combat gun violence, Weaver said that number does not include weapons that were purchased during the department’s Gun Buy-Back Program. 

A map detailing where the shootings have occurred in 2022 shows every part of the city has been plagued with gun violence, with hotspots in the Northeast, Southeast and East wards, many of which involved juveniles. 

“Firearm-related violence is the number one challenge for the Winston-Salem Police Department as a professional law enforcement agency and it’s also the number one challenge for our law enforcement colleagues in the cities and towns of North Carolina, as well as across our nation,” said Weaver while giving his presentation to members of the Public Safety Committee. 

In addition to the Gun Buy-Back Program, Weaver also discussed other initiatives the WSPD has in place to combat gun violence, including saturation patrols; community priority patrol shotspotter, technology that uses satellites to determine where a gun was fired; NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network); as well as specialized units that focus on gun violence such as GCRU (Gun Crime Reduction Unit) and VFIT (Violent Firearm Investigations Team). 

The WSPD has also partnered with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to launch the Safe Street Initiative. This initiative is designed to address gun violence between gangs and gang associates. 

Councilmember Barbara Hanes Burke, who represents the Northeast Ward, thanked Weaver and the WSPD for their efforts to keep the citizens safe. To date there have been 17 different shootings in the Northeast Ward that have been reported to police. Earlier this month Burke hosted a town hall to come up with real solutions to the issue of gun violence. 

“Thank you Chief Weaver for that presentation and I thank you for all you do for our community. Thank you Chief Thompson … and Chief Penn. I really appreciate all you do to keep us safe,” Burke said.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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