For all his talk about aggressive new policing strategies and reassigning officers within the Wilmington Police Department to street patrols, Mayor Dennis Williams has little to show for his efforts.
The city's gun violence has now claimed more than 130 victims (Sunday's shooting - at West 24th & North Washington Streets - barely after sunset, was a fatal shooting). The official Wilmington Police Department calculations: 109 shootings, 131 victims, depending on how you count and what you include... Either way, two months remain before the curtain closes on 2013.
2013's total number of shootings is already running ahead of 2012. If there's any silver lining, it's that the total number of FATAL shootings is still running behind last year's: 15 this year (including the two at the New Castle County Courthouse which are sort of outside the city's bailiwick) compared to 25 last year.
I remember then State Representative Dennis Williams campaigning so arduously on his law and order theme, pledging to put a dent in the city's shootings. I remember thinking... can he really do it? Could he just pull a rabbit out of his hat and put the Baker Administration to shame? I had my doubts.
Or was it just bad luck for this new mayor and his administration? Given Wilmington's geographic position, perhaps the drug barons just converged on this city and so began this war of attrition, and druggies would demarcate their turf by shooting to wound -- not kill? Hence the higher number of overall shootings, but the lower fatal numbers...
Again, both the county and city need to team-up on this and do the Giuliani thing. Crack down on the petty offenses, making NCC and the City of Wilmington an undesirable place for the drug carriers to bring their wares. It seems that most of this is probably drug-related. From what I've read, Wilmington's central location to the major cities of the East Coast make it a great distribution point.
It seems the ONLY way that would pass Constitutional muster is what the former mayor of NYC did. Make NCC/Wilmington a place where criminals will fear to tread. Until we do this, the mayor is simply "shooting water" into the wind and unfortunately he's downwind, so he's getting soaked.
Of course this plan won't happen, because city politicians have egos as large as any of the Congressional folks in D.C.; they'd rather allow the problem to continue than to work together with the County and admit they can't do it alone. This one time, both city and county need to join forces and rid this area of this violence and make it not worth the drug distributitors to use Wilmington as their distribution center.
Mon, Oct 28, 2013 9:24am
I view this problem as having advanced beyond the abilities of the city and the county. As drug issues have spread to include Newark and Dover, with increased violence, we need to recognize that we are now joining Philadelphia/Camden/Chester as a growing crime center. City and county cooperation is fine, but a regional approach is required.
Action by the state police is required to stop drug distribution along I-95 using every legal device at their disposal. Racial profiling is illegal, but there have to be other tools in their arsenal, particularly as this is a multiracial issue. As a regional problem, the Governor must be involved to coordinate the effort. Only he can force the cooperation of city and county law enforcement officials. Only he can coordinate cooperation with neighboring states. Mr. Markell needs to start doing his job.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Oct 28, 2013 10:13am
JimH: I agree, but good luck with getting Philly and PA to cooperate. However, bringing in our State Police so to help move these thugs/criminals out of NCC/Wilmington is a great idea. Let's not waste time trying to get the help from neighboring states, let's just get these folks off our streets. Then maybe when Philly/Pa/NJ/Camden start seeing our results, they'll JOIN us. Results speak louder than talk. So far, we've had talk, time for results.
Mon, Oct 28, 2013 7:45pm
What Williams lacks is a staff with imagination. Most are bureaucrats used to running things and that they do well. Thinking outside the box is a different story.
I must admit. I would have thought with his choice of a police chief, we'd be much further along right now....
Mike's idea needs work. Just put barbed wire around Pea Patch Island, put machine guns around the outside, and dump every single loiterer, jaywalker, litterer, and anyone else picked up onto that island....
Then send a message to the hood... when you start talking and telling us who is messing things up, we'll give you back your peeps..
What many callers on both of your station's talk shows have decried: Is that though everyone in every neighborhood knows where "the house" is, where "the guns" are, we aren't getting that info...
And this points to what was on Al's show; he blurted it out, and that was the first time I've heard it, but for a week now I've been pondering it over and over in my head...
When you take William's bluster as a law-and-order cop, and then look at the actual summation of all of his results, i.e., declaring war on panhandlers in Rodney Square... there is only one and one thing that sticks out glaringly...
We have a dirty cop.....
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Oct 28, 2013 9:08pm
Kavips: As much as your Pea Patch Island idea sounds interesting, we both know that's not Constitutional; Guiliani's plan was. So let's quit fooling around & do something that worked in NYC.
Mon, Oct 28, 2013 10:37pm
Wilmington: More dangerous than Chicago.
Tue, Oct 29, 2013 8:05am
Mike... Pea Patch Island - Delaware.... Riker's Island - New York City
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Oct 29, 2013 10:10am
Kavips: The way I read your post was you were advocating just rounding up the "troublemakers" in town and ship them to the Delaware version of Gitmo. THAT would be unconstitutional. We all ready have a barbed-wire hotel conveniently located in Wilmington, called the Young Prison, formerly Gander Hill Prison.
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