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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Short staffing means the Wilmington Police Department must bring in off-duty officers to help patrol areas plagued by a recent string of shootings.

A 17-year-old boy died in a shooting early Thursday morning near 6th and Kidder streets. Another man was also injured in the shooting. Police also responded to a shooting at 12th and Grace streets later in the day.

“With this in mind, we are using off-duty personnel to patrol on foot and in cars in the hotspot neighborhoods most affected by this recent gun violence,” Police Chief Ralph Evangelous wrote in an e-mail today to City Manager Sterling Cheatham. “There are several specific neighborhoods affected. This will supplement our regularly assigned patrol officers.”

Evangelous told Cheatham he needs to supplement the patrol because WPD has 19 officer position vacancies, which he hopes to fill by mid-July. He said that shortage does not include officers out for training or on leave.

“These efforts will allow us to be visible to our citizens who live in or near the areas of the recent gunfire and increase opportunities for our citizens to share valuable information with us,” Evangelous wrote. “By providing these positive community contacts and working directly with residents, we can bring closure regarding the upswing in firearm related concerns.”

Evangelous said police need help from the public to be effective. He said the staffing plan will be in place until further notice.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest123

    I think we should start back ground checking drivers. How many pedestrians have been killed this month? Not to mention all of the car owners who sell their cars to who knows who or lets them get stolen. Give me a break!!! Don’t blame the law abiding citizen for a failed justice system.

  • beach guy

    you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.
    these individuals running around shooting each other are getting most of there guns from the same people they get their drugs to sell that is how a dealer protects his investment by supplying the street dealers with guns at a price of course, and that’s why you have underage kids getting shot because they won’t do hard time if they get caught.
    That is why we should enforce the laws that are on the books instead of making it harder for law abiding citizens.
    As far as entitlements are concerned all you have to do is look at the documented police reports almost all this violence is happening in areas or by persons from this socioeconomic background.
    You will never stop violence in a society predicated on violence in the fifties it was switch blades or razors. Now it is guns, the problem is the mentality of you are not a man until you have been in jail.
    It comes down to this when you are a generation after generation of Government supported groups and at the same time limited by the same government by how much money you can make before you lose your housing. It removes the incentive to improve your life and that of your children. But the thing that it does accomplish is a trapped voting base that will keep the same people that would not drive through one of these neighborhoods in power so that they will not lose what little they have. It is despicable and a complete mutilation of the Ideas of Kennedy and King.

  • Janice Robinson

    This response is the only response that truly made any sense. We as a community are now in the process of trying to form a group that will address these issues with City Hall and WPD. We would be grateful if you could join us in at least trying to find a solution to all the senseless killings that are happening within our communities.

  • Guest2654154

    Its not “gun violence” its just “violence.” Quit using anti 2nd Amendment buzzwords and blaming the NRA because the minorities are running wild, the system that refuses to keep them locked up and treats honest gun owners like criminals is the reason for this anarchy.

  • Enough said. It’s all you legal gun toters who have allowed your guns to be stolen or sold them to who knows who or supported “gun shows” who’s sellers didnt do the proper background checks. These thugs know who have GUNS and they, like you, think they are the pinnacle of safety and power…. and now they are in the hands of who knows who that shoot 17 year olds. You gun zaelots have actually increased the chances of murderer’s to get their hands on them because of your “entitlement” theories.

  • taxpayer

    should consult the Chief of Police in Chicago…he certainly has a handle on gang violence and shootings in the Windy City. Only 46 shot last weekend. Or better yet, implement gun laws like Chicago has…that’s worked well. And finally, ask Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor, what he recommends should be done.

    Until our police are allowed to “drop a few” in the street where they stand…they’ll keep on shooting…and we’ll continue to duck.

  • joe

    The police dept is making officers walk the streets of gang infested areas until 3am even though they know the gangs have now threatened to kill a police officer!!! Thanks WPD for making our officers & family members sitting ducks!!!

  • Guest 10101

    If not the cops, then who? You? Oops, that won’t work. You don’t even think it’s a job for the police! Batman, Superman, perhaps the Lone Ranger? Nope, they’re just fictional characters. How about the Girl Scouts? They could patrol while selling cookies at night. Hey, I know; why don’t we just give up the streets to the bad guys!

    All of that sound ridiculous? You bet it does! Know what else sounds ridiculous? Suggesting that the police shouldn’t fight crime because it’s a dangerous job.

  • Guest Reply

    Then you go patrol the streets and not the officers that are trained to do this type of activity. Your comment sounds like “nothing should be done” Mr. Joe. Wilmington is not the Sleep Happy town any more…statistics with murders and shootings prove this…or haven’t you been keeping up on current events???
    The thugs asked for war…they shall get what they asked for. This has been a long time coming waging a response to these “Kill Happy” criminals…let them carry a Bullseye on their backs for a change.

  • Janice Robinson

    I understand fully what you are saying, but our citizens who are on the police force are only human themselves. I don’t know what needs to happen but i do not think sending men and women into a war zone they are not trained for would not be a good idea. What i feel WPD should consider doing is come up with a trained force that will target these areas and go into these areas and don’t leave until it is cleaned up.

  • windy

    … but only if they accept EBT for the cookie sales ..

  • ChefnSurf

    this situation didn’t just occur overnight. If the police aren’t trained by now, when will they be? Should they just abandon the streets to the criminals while they continue to train? Won’t the bad guys continue to escalate the violence if we abandon the streets? Do the police have to then escalate their training to keep up with this continuous escalation before they finally attempt to take back the streets. When will they ever be trained enough?

    If you’re suggesting that they’re not adequately trained by now, it’s time to immediately sack current police management, starting with the Chief, and bring someone else in who can do the job. Are you saying that’s what should be done?

    I have tremendous respect for the job police officers do. All too often, their occupation requires them to make choices that involve no small amount of personal bravery. I realize they’re only human, but this is the job they signed up for. You refer to the area as a war zone. That’s where soldiers are needed, not back in some training barracks. History has proven that time and time again.

    You say you “don’t know what to do” but you’d like to defer actually doing something right now. That’s not going to get anything done. Hard times require hard decisions. Deferring those hard choices won’t make it any better and quite possibly make things a whole lot worse.

  • Guest1234543

    You wouldn’t be short staffed if you used your officers more wisely, everytime I drive thru Wilmington I see 4 or 5 or more police cars stopping single cars, why is it when the HP stops a car, 1 officer stops 1 car, why does local leo’s feel like it takes 6 cops to issue 1 speeding ticket??? Cut your force in the daytime by 2/3’s, put them on the streets from 10pm till 7am and you’ll see some of this violence changing.


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