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WPD proposes preemptive police force

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Crime in Wilmington is down from 2004 to 2012, but police say there is still a need for an increased force focusing on fighting crime before it happens. Wilmington's police chief proposed a new approach to City Council this morning.

Chief Ralph Evangelous says he wants a special force made up of seven existing officers and five new officers to focus on things like surveillance and gathering information. The Mobile Field Force would be divided into two teams. One team would be dedicated to undercover assignments. Evangelous says it is important to detect suspicious behavior before criminals strike.

"Merely preventing the crime only displaces it, because when you have evil intentions, you are going to commit evil acts," Evangelous said. "We need to take those people off the street and incarcerate them."

The Thalian Association felt the effects of violent crime after the murder of employee Joshua Proutey last month. The 19-year-old Cape Fear Community College student was shot and killed after leaving work at the Community Arts Center downtown.

"Anything that the police chief does and the City of Wilmington does to increase our police protection I think will make the citizens much more comfortable," Thalian Association Managing Director Susan Habas said.

The mobile field force would cost an estimated $465,000. About $260,000 would pay for for additional officers. The other $205,000 would buy unmarked vehicles.

Habas says when it comes to safety, money should not be an issue.

"Safety for our residents and citizens should be everyone's number one concern, number one priority," she said.

City Council will consider the chief's proposal at its meeting tomorrow night.

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Cocerns

The SNO recently ran an article about the Homeland Security Dept giving $ to local law enforcement for anti terror equipment like robots, tactical equipment and other specialized gear. All in response to 9-11.
Now we have law enforcement in our elementary school in response to Newtown, Columbine and other shootings.
Now Chief wants a specialized patrol after the shooting at that down town location and for crime prevention - focusing on surveillance.

This makes me wonder if our knee jerk reactions are being used by LE to pry more money out of our hands under the guise of protecting the citizenry?
I am concerned about this from the standpoint that we are becoming a crisis response society. Everywhere you turn things happen because of this crisis or that crisis. The fiscal cliff is another example. Make it a crisis then act? The debt ceiling? Raised 74 times - now it's a crisis.
I don't get it

Vog

If the cops continue to gain

If the cops continue to gain power and control, it will get increasingly harder to differentiate them from the terrorists.

Puff the Magic Dragon

Dont know about all y'all but I am seeing more of an Evangelist than a realistic police chief here in this video.

This does not sound like a

This does not sound like a very good plan. Cops have worked and prevented crimes for years based on tips from the public concerning crime in the planning stage. I suppose this will take things one step farther and will most likely end up arresting innocent people on "suspicion". Most likely, lawsuits will follow. I have had the utmost respect for the Chief, but I think he is really on the wrong track here and the police will continue to lose respect from those who they are paid to protect.

Oh my God here we go again.

Oh my God here we go again. Plenty of officers already downtown. Just spread them out and tell them not to stand around in groups of 5 and 6 in the same spot for hours. Where is the Lt or Capt at to observe his officers doing nothing but standing in front of select bars all night waiting to pounce on a 20 year old female with alcohol in system not even in her possession.Its always the same old story more personnel, goodies and money.Has the vice squad not confiscated any vehicles lately on the many drug busts the past year. This guy makes 100k a year for these types of suggestions. How about just better utilizing what you already have in place.

move to the left

to the left..to the left..arrow points to the left 5-8 blocks from where all the cops are standing around on Front street.

I second that, Guest123234.

I second that, Guest123234. You hit the nail on the head!

You my friend have hit the

You my friend have hit the nail on the head, they got the man power, take away their cell phones and build a fire under them. get to work