The Good Side of 2020

High Point ended 2020 with a double digit decrease, 10 percent, in violent crime. Violent crimes – homicides, rapes, aggravated assaults and robberies – were down 10 percent. Burglaries, break-ins, larcenies and auto thefts were down nine percent. Homicides alone went from 19 in 2019 to 14 in 2020, not the case in many of our neighboring cities. The Department also seized 433 guns last year.

Interim Police Chief Travis Stroud gave credit to High Point’s focused deterrence strategy as one important reason the numbers went down. Focused deterrence uses data to identify the individuals who commit most of the crimes. Police and the community are able to target those individuals, helping High Point to work smarter to stop and prevent crime.

High Point began using this strategy in 1997. The graph below shows the changes in violent crime and population over the years.

You can read more about the strategy here.

23 Year Look Back

The slow down and isolation of 2020 gave some of our volunteers the time to look back and catalogue what HPCAV has done and meant to our city and the people who live and work here. The end result of that reflection is “Building a Safer High Point.” It’s an easy read and will answer many of the questions you may have about what we do and why. And maybe it will inspire you to join us as we continue working to make High Point safer for everyone.

You choose: e-book or PDF.

Working and Serving

HPCAV received funding through the Greater High Point Food Alliance in April and we are using the money to pay some of our clients to work in area food pantries. Our clients are unpacking trucks, moving and shelving food items. This unusual collaborative effort provides an employment opportunity for our clients and involves them in serving the greater High Point community. Area food pantries have helped our clients over the years and this is a unique way for them to “give back”.

A Decade of Good Work

In July 2010, local businessman Zaki Khalifa donated the building at 792 North Main Street in High Point to HPCAV. An anonymous donor made it possible for us to renovate the space for our needs. For the first time, HPCAV had a permanent home. A decade later, HPCAV continues to flourish in this location. In addition to providing space for our executive director and volunteers, the large back section of the building is where our Life Construction Program operates. Clients learn basic construction skills as well as general employment and life skills. They build garden sheds and go on to work on homes in the local Habitat for Humanity communities as well as repair work through the City of High Point, Housing and Community Development projects.

We also rent space to the Fraternal Order of Police, ACTS Church and a local dance instructor/DJ. The building is used to “build community” and do good work in a variety of ways.

Thank you, Zaki! We look forward to another decade of working to make High Point safer for everyone.

Focused Deterrence Works

Indexed crime or crime per capita is shown in the chart below, beginning in 1992 and ending in 2019. We began using the Focused Deterrence model in 1997, working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and the community. Since then, our violent crime has decreased by 58% while the city’s population continues to grow at 50%. Over 2000 people have been notified. Of those, four out of five people do not reoffend. It’s not the perfect answer for all violence, but it works.

Focused deterrence overview

More Work, Less Violence

High Point Community Against Violence (HPCAV) completed the first phase of its new violence reduction project, More Work, Less Violence, in September, 2019.  Phase One lasted six weeks, with participants meeting five days each week.  Five of the initial seven participants completed this first phase.  Four of those five are now employed, one of the goals of the project.

More Work, Less Violence is the creation of Jim Summey, HPCAV’s executive director, and is funded by the High Point Community Foundation.  The purpose of the project is to work with some of our focused deterrence violent crime offenders who are hard-to-place, difficult to manage and slow to adjust, helping them develop skills and support that will move them into gaining legitimate employment that can help sustain them and their families.  Most of these individuals are in relationships and have children.  Most have difficulties securing work and keeping it.  They struggle with punctuality, communication, following instructions, and being prepared from day to day, all of which negatively impact and limit their employability. 

More Work, Less Violence, Phase One began with a Life Assessment for each individual, separating the facts of their lives from the fiction that had been created.  Discussions and assignment topics included:  communication (listening and speaking; what is real dialogue); emotions (using truth, not emotions as a basis for reactions, recognizing emotional triggers, responsibility for responses); writing as a way of organizing thoughts, separating facts from fiction, working through emotions; getting prepared for the next day; making action plans; putting plans into action.  Work projects (taking instructions and functioning as a team to accomplish a common goal) were also a part of Phase One.

Phase Two, which begins in October, 2019, will work with these individuals and the significant others in their lives (girlfriends, children).  The goal of Phase Two is to help the individuals improve their key relationships, reduce family dysfunction, and ultimately reduce or stop the generational cycle of violence.

The last component of the More Work, Less Violence project will be evaluation and follow-up.

Job Help is Available

You’ve got a criminal record. No one wants to hire you. You REALLY need a job. What can you do?

Two options worth looking at are: Jobs on the Outside through Goodwill Industries and the Welfare Reform Liaison Project‘s free employment training.

Jobs on the Outside is a free, comprehensive program that helps people with criminal backgrounds successfully get a job and keep a job. You have to be at least 16 years old, have a criminal background and attend an orientation meeting. Call 336-275-9801 or check out Triad Goodwill for details.

Welfare Reform Liaison Project, Inc. (WRLP) offers free employment training for people with or without a criminal record, including Construction Skills Training and Technology Training. You have to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED (they can help if you don’t!), live in Guilford County and be at or below 125% of poverty level (they’ll figure that out for you). Call 336-882-4141, extension 8515 in High Point. Get more information on their website.

Take a look!

HPCAV has been working to reduce violence in High Point for over 21 years. If you wonder whether our work makes a difference, hear what our clients have to say in our newest video.

Domestic Violence Strategy Gains National Attention

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has invited the High Point Police Department to present information about our Offender Focused Domestic Violence Initiative (DVI) that was begun in 2012 at its national conference in September.  Based on the Violent Crime Focused Deterrence model, the DVI has helped reduce repeat domestic violence offenses in High Point.  Almost 3500 offenders have been “put on notice” over the past six years of implementation.   And while the program is not perfect – domestic violence continues to happen – it has made a difference, more than other strategies used in the past.

Read more about our DVI in this article from the Greensboro News and Record.

Latest US Attorney Newsletter

The Middle District of North Carolina, US Attorney’s Office, has published their March 2017 newsletter.  This is a great way to see what is going on around our District related to crime and violence reduction efforts!

Middle District News