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New Asheboro Police chief gives annual report to council

Janet Imrick

Randolph Hub


ASHEBORO — New Asheboro Police Chief Robbie Brown gave his first report to the Asheboro City Council since taking the reins of the Asheboro Police Department. His presentation at the May 9 council meeting broke down the types of calls they answered in 2023, while discussing their expectations for the department's future.


According to Brown, a change in the way they label traffic stops makes it appear as though the calls for service increased over three years but removing the traffic stops shows a steadier trend.


Calls for service:

31,501 in 2023.

27,878 in 2022.

25,522 in 2021.


Brown said that uptick is because in 2022, 911 Dispatch started labeling traffic stops with numbers like they do for other calls. When the traffic stops are not counted, calls in 2023 were 25,272. The average response time was 4 minutes and 57 seconds.


"Friday is the day with most calls for service, and 8-9 p.m. is when they answer the most calls for service," Brown said.


Reports of Part 1 criminal offenses, which include homicides, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny and theft, went down. The only increase was in aggravated assaults, with 48 reports. "This is something that Chief [Mark] Lineberry was very proud of, that we had that overall 23 percent reduction in all Part 1 offenses,” Brown said of his predecessor.


The most common arrests were for failure to appear in court, followed by drug charges (possession, selling, manufacturing, trafficking) and larceny.


For traffic incidents, Dixie Drive and Fayetteville Street remain the most common locations of collisions, comprising of 56.9 percent of all accidents.


Brown finished with a review of animal-related calls. There were 1,275 calls for service.


Brown praised the city's animal control officers for their willingness to follow up on cases and provide food to animals. "They will buy food themselves," he said. "If [the animals] don't have a can, you'll see where they put that in their notes, that they bought them a can."


The city council gave Brown their approval to renew the partnership in the Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area public safety program. Asheboro Police have been part of the program since 2017, which shares select data with law enforcement in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.


Future of the Force

Council member Kelly Heath asked about how the police department is doing overall with recent retirements and new hires. Brown said five recruits will soon take the state test. Four officers in field training will begin patrol on their own in June and July. One of the department's newest recruits, he said, is a woman who was an officer in High Point, left the force to raise her children, and then joined Asheboro's police department when she was ready to return.


Council member Joseph Trogdon asked what Brown sees as the top challenges. Brown said pay is a concern when competing for new hires with other municipalities, and the department needs to be ready for the additional work that will come with the anticipated population growth of Asheboro.


Another concern is upgrading the police department's vehicle fleet. "We don't know how the situation is going to be with cars this year," Brown said. "We've had more cars canceled than you've ever seen. Last year, we were going over Fords. They didn't do any new orders at all. They were fulfilling the orders canceled the last year."


Brown told council members the story of their last Charger purchase. When they went to the lot, three were available – one white, one dark green and one lime green. "We didn't want the green ones," Brown said.


When they opened the front of the white vehicle, they found a placard inside memorializing it as one of the last Chargers before Dodge discontinued the model.