The Administration of Chief Robert C. White
Chief Robert C. White was appointed as Greensboro Police Department’s 18th chief on July 1, 1998. Having retired from the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Force as assistant chief, White was GPD’s first “outside hire” since former Chief Jeter Williamson in 1951.
White’s contributions to the department included the decentralization of Police Services and the implementation of ComStat, a management process within a performance management framework that synthesizes analysis of crime and disorder data, strategic problem-solving, and a clear accountability structure. In addition, White broke the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Traffic Division, and Tactical Division into district-specific entities. His focus on these entities allowed separate police divisions to operate efficiently and independently.
Along with these improvements, White also reinstated the Motorcycle Unit and he was strongly dedicated to the physical fitness of department personnel. He was responsible for the development of the initial plans for several full-service police substations, the first of which was the Maple Street substation now serving the Eastern Division.
Most noteworthy, White installed the first female assistant chief, Vickie Powell.
Like all leaders in law enforcement, White found it necessary to respond to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A position was created within the Special Operations Division to plan for terrorist incidents and school shootings. This position, which still exists, serves as a planning basis for unforeseen events that could affect the safety and security of the Greensboro community. Also under White’s leadership, the Greensboro Police and Fire Departments began to work together to create a unified response program called the “Incident Command System.”
During White’s tenure, the “state of the art” Public Safety Training Facility opened in 2002 and the 81st Police Basic Introductory Course graduated from there in 2003.
White left the department in 2003 to become the Chief of the Louisville Metropolitan Police in Kentucky.