Council approves funding for mobile field force

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Submitted: Wed, 02/06/2013 - 4:55am
Updated: Wed, 02/06/2013 - 1:18pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The City of Wilmington posted its lowest crime numbers ever in 2012, but Chief Ralph Evangelous isn’t resting on his laurels.

Despite that fact Wilmington police chief Ralph Evangelous stepped in front of the City Council asking for over $300,000 to help his department evolve.

“The bad guys are getting smarter and smarter and they’re using technology,” said Chief Ralph Evangelous. “They’re mobile, they’re in vehicles, so we need to continue to be after them and try to keep our community safe.”

The Wilmington City Council voted unanimously to approve the funding for what Chief Evangelous is calling a mobile field force.

“This new mobile field force will be split into two different teams,” said Evangelous. “One is a uniformed six person team which will be highly visible in and around neighborhoods and the second team is going to be a plain clothes undercover team to focus on repeat offenders and bad guys who are out there in the streets victimizing our citizens.”

The 12-man team will feature five new hires into the force and Chief Evangelous says they will be unlike any team the department currently has.

“We’ll be able to move these people anywhere in the city we need them we can deploy them immediately, which will give us the ability to respond to developing trends neighborhood to neighborhood or area to area,” said Evangelous. “We’ll be able to move with it and be there.”


  • T. W. Duke says:

    This is awesome!!! Its comedy gold!!!!

    So Wilmington is now being harassed by… Bad Guys with mystery “technology” and “vehicles”…. Which I interpret “Bad Guys” as a kid with a bag of weed and “vehicle” as a 1995 Honda and “technology” as a cell phone.

    So Chief Evangelous while sitting in his tree house fort has decided to ask Wilmington to drop a cool 300K to outfit a “New Mobile field Force”… I bet it took hours to come up with that name… right after “Strike Team Alpha”… “Cobra-Kai Ninjas”… And “Black-Doom Commando Squad”…

    This will probably include cool new bikes, nun-chucks, walkie-talkies, ninja stars, and one B-B gun that they can share.

    I can’t be the only person that thinks this is hilarious?

    T.W. Duke

  • Guester says:

    Looks like you are. I have to say that I totally approve of my tax dollars going to make a safer community.

  • Guest Reply says:

    Doesn’t this kind of stuff go on everywhere in every county, state, country and possibly planet?

  • Guest456465 says:

    “Badguys” refers to criminal scum that have histories of robberies and attempted murder, like those that killed the college student a few months ago.

    “Technology” refers to those same pieces of filth saying they were about to do a home invasion but they heard the police were dispatched on their scanner app on their cell phone and other things.

    “Vehicles” refers to any mode of transportation that gets them from one part of the city to another. Normal officers are restricted to a beat and are busy handling other calls.

  • tweety11 says:

    Vog you are a jackass first there is not enough done,the police department heads come up with a program now its still a problem.What exactly do you want?

  • Vog46 says:

    Task force leader: “OK you undercover guys start walking the streets and hanging around”
    5 min later:
    “here comes someone suspicious – stay on your toes”

    “Wait, he went into the Reel Cafe”

    90 min later:
    “Hey fellas – he’s coming back out – boy he’s weaving pretty bad – oooh look, he’s taking a leak on the sidewalk – hold on don’t bust him for that – it’s only a misdemeanor. OH Jesus he just barfed in the gutter, wait a second, He’s getting behind the wheel. Car 54 – you get behind him and pull him over as soon as he pulls out”

    Car 54 radio:
    “uh Boss we got us a situation here it’s Brian Berger and he just threw up on my uniform. Please advise”

    “Uh well he’s got priors for this type of thing – oh hell just get a clean uniform will you?”

    5 min later:
    “UH task force this is dispatch be advised a motorist claiming he was just stopped by you has hit the Kenan fountain and is going to sue the city. Please advise”

    “Task force”? “Hello”?

    Just what we need


  • tweety11 says:

    point well taken

  • Vog46 says:

    Better use of the $. I got no problem giving the Chief the money.
    But I do have a problem when the goal is to “prevent” by observing known criminals to catch them in the act.
    My Libertarian side is saying “oh no this won’t turnout to be good”.

    Put more uniform patrols on the street with the money.

    He’s done a good job for the most part. I am suspicious of the task force and what its intended to do and how it will do it.


  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    The point in my original post was simple.

    It was a request for the City Council, Mayor, and Chief, to look at changing the laws.

    The premise was that the VAST Majority of law abiding citizens with concealed carry permits don’t break the law.

    Your the one who brought up “shooting some perp” from your boat.

    I have made the trip to the Police Station and met with Chief Evangelous’s assistant to voice my concerns about the law. Because of that law, I had to leave my weapon home because of the prohibition of firearms at the station. So because of that one stop, I couldn’t carry that day.

    I value my permit, just like many others do. We are not the problem.
    We know the law. Criminals don’t care, and as we saw recently a young man paid the ultimate price.

    But we can agree on one thing. You would use a gun if needed to protect yourself. Good, we can build on that.

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    “Riverwalk is city owned and current law says no guns on city property – sorry.”

    I guess you like repeating what’s already been said. Now I’ll try.

    “This makes a rather rash assumption doesn’t it?”
    Referring to crimes committed downtown by criminals vs. concealed carry citizens, or legally purchased firearms by the original owners.

    You should really look at the stats, or you can try
    The jist being that people that follow the laws that govern concealed carry don’t commit crimes downtown. The percentage is almost microscopic.

    I think it’s a little disingenuous to assume (we know what that means) I was referring to every single owner of a firearm. Talk about drinking the kool aid.

    So, before you tell me to “Stop evangelizing”, your saying it’s ok for YOU to have a weapon while tied to the dock, the dock is city owned property, but I can’t have mine 3′ away. I wonder if people feel unsafe because of your gun they can’t see?

    Don’t be such a nitpicker. You know what I posted, and you knew where it was headed. People are carrying everyday all around you, but you never see it. That’s why it’s concealed, nobody gets alarmed.

    “Just who the heck do we gun owners think WE are?” It’s pretty evident who you think you are, I’m not asking for anything above what you seem to think is ok. You want to carry while tied to city property, I want to carry while walking on city property. Property that presumably belongs to the people.

  • Vog46 says:

    Until such time as the law is changed you are breaking the law while on Riverwalk and I would not be on my boat.
    Thats the point.
    Would you be willing to do it?
    If so you break your own tennent of gun owners are law abiding.
    Assume you would not get caught – would you do it?
    I would not…


  • RSimmons says:

    The crime is coming from poor neighborhoods(white and black). The crime rate is going down in the city more due to displacement of undesirables than it is by any proactive police work. Plenty of rural towns these undesirables can move to. Jobs a-plenty working in the poultry plants and picking produce. It is time to bulldoze public housing for anyone except the elderly.

  • T. W. Duke says:

    This is like the perfect storm of bad ideas! A Barney Fife idea turned into the SchutzStaffel!!!

    Never mind the opportunities for entrapment, illegal search and seizure… So they city spends 300K and pays out how much in lawsuits? My God this will be fun to write about!

    T.W. Duke

  • Vog46 says:

    They want to follow “known” criminals to catch them in the act?
    That sounds like profiling to me.

    Thom Goolsby will have a field day defending those perps.


  • libertyplz says:

    If they made our community safer “than ever” why do we need a “mobile field force?” Seems rather intrusive to me.

  • Vog46 says:

    about this bothers me and I can’t put my finger on it.


  • T. W. Duke says:

    that is all true and I dont argue a bit of it… but if you want to hire 5 more cops just ask for funding for 5 more cops and dont paint it up like you got your ideas from the movie Diehard. Also, that scanner app is 4 years old… so why was this not addressed 4 years ago… regardless my point was just the silly packaging not the content.

    T.W. Duke

  • T. W. Duke says:

    I usually only post stuff here at WWAY cus I think it’s entertaining to poke fun at these articles… generally I couldn’t care less about this stuff… But I’ll make an exception here…

    So… Instead of just arresting criminals… You want the police to “purge” downtown Wilmington of undesirables? You want to kick out the poor who have lived there for generations… so that “young northern urbanites and hipsters” can buy up the land… You essentially want a “better quality” of person to live in those houses? Based on your remarks that “better quality” is… White Yankees… May apse you could recommend a good place to put these undesirables and their families?

    Wow… thats just horrible… I dont even know what to say to that…

    T.W. Duke

  • Guest 10101 says:

    You couldn’t have just said “young urbanites and hipsters”?

    Every time something goes wrong locally, someone pops up and blames it on some Yankee. Thanks for stirring up a big pot of stupid.

  • RSimmons says:

    This will be good move to make the downtown residential areas less live-able for the thugs and their families that aid and abet them in crime. Gentrification of Downtown and the historic district has slowed a bit during the recession. This will hurt the slumlords that rent to these thugs and encourage them to sell out to relocating young northern urbanites and hipsters.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    Somebody needs to get it through the thick voter skulls around here that you get what you vote for.

  • taxpayer says:

    so much money on their ill-fated baseball dream, the funding for this project would be a mere drop in the bucket. It’s too bad the taxpayers can’t demand a refund of OUR wasted dollars. Thank You Sterling Cheatham, Mayor, and the rest of our elected council-critters.

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    If you want to take “the girl” downtown, in the evenings, after dark. Carry some protection! When your life depends on the next few seconds, the police are only minutes away…

  • Guest2769 says:

    Stick and move bro! Maybe I can take the girl downtown again in the evenings. Spring is coming :)

  • Guestreplying says:

    Guest 10101, you are right, the reason they say it is because they have so much hate and distain for others who are not exactly like them… or aren’t from the same place… it’s been like that for centuries. Eventually, though, they’ll have to get over it.

  • RSimmons says:

    but I wanted to give credit to where the credit is due. My neighborhood has so much improved with the younger people and retirees buying up the homes that were rundown and rented out. They are all fantastic neighbors! Crime here has decreased tremendously. BTW the haters around this town are gonna hate regardless of who it is or where they are from. Fortunately there are less of them everyday.

  • jj says:

    Well, the Police Dept sure does enforce the traffic laws. Just drive on any city streets and you will see that. So, now they want funding to put more police officers downtown. The business in that area that cause all the problems should be hit with a tax to cover it.

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    I think everyone agrees Chief Evangelous has done a great job. He has led the department and restored the reputation of Police in a stellar way.
    The only improvement needed is that the restriction on concealed carry on the Riverwalk should be removed.
    The crime close to the Riverwalk is not caused by citizens utilizing their right to carry, but criminals intent on a quick buck.
    The City Manager, Mayor and Council, and the Chief should move to add this to the plan, and give citizens the sense of security they need to truly enjoy the downtown experience.

  • Vog46 says:

    Riverwalk is city owned and current law says no guns on city property – sorry.
    But what caught my eye was this statement:
    “The crime close to the Riverwalk is not caused by citizens utilizing their right to carry, but criminals intent on a quick buck.”

    This makes a rather rash assumption doesn’t it?
    You are assuming that all “legal” gun owners are law abiding citizens.
    This is like saying all Christians don’t commit crimes because the bible says don’t do it, and we ARE Christian.
    Just who the heck do we gun owners think WE are? Of course legal gun owners commit crimes.
    And yes they get their permit revoked and yes they get them illegally and yes right now LE is over whelmed trying to keep up with them.
    But to sit here and say gun owners are law a biding citizens is disingenuous at best and indicative of too much kool aid drinking.
    Stop evangelizing – gun owners are just as capable of conducting criminal activity as anyone else is.
    I’m glad there’s no guns on Riverwalk (and I’m glad restaurant owners COULD ban them under proposed legislation). Here’s why. If I’m a boat owner and come into Wilmington and moor at the new marina I am on my boat with a gun protecting my property. That walk provides a buffer. If a perp then tries to rob me at gunpoint he gets charged it the attempted burglary AND bringing a weapon on River walk. That is of course if he survives my shooting at him in defense of my boat.
    But the broad problem is is that guns are so common place that they are no longer indicative of a long term law abiding citizen – jut one that hasn’t committed a crime yet,or worse – hasn’t been caught.


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