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Neighbors say gangs behind increase in shootings

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- An undermanned Wilmington Police Department is working overtime after another shooting in the Port City.

Meanwhile community leaders say they have had enough, and it's time to stop the violence.

"I've never seen in my life so many African-American males perishing and people are walking around like they're almost oblivious to what is happening to them," said Rev. James Jamison Jr. of Hope Baptist Church for all Nations.

With 48 reports of shots fired in the month of June, including four people shot in the past five days, a crime wave has hit the Port City, and residents say there is no end in site.

"There were two gentleman that were released from prison, and they said they were going to get revenge on whoever it was that ratted on them," said Hampton Colclough, who lives in a neighborhood where a teen was shot and killed last week. "It was Blood on Blood, which is family on family. They're trying to extinguish each other."

To combat the violence, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous is faced with a dilemma: fill the 19 vacancies in his force or have the current force log more overtime hours.

"It's a jungle here," Colclough said. "It's a jungle, and these guys are going wild. They've got more guns than the cops down here. They have more guns than the cops!"

"Why pay overtime when we can get more officers?" Jamison said. "I have noticed the streets in the last couple of days the usual suspects are not hanging out where they usually hangout, because they know there is more officers present, and they're going into their little cubby holes until this storm blows over."

Community leaders are now trying to band together to break the binds of gang violence, not with law enforcement, but with one unified voice.

"I'm African-American, and these are my babies out here dying every day," Jamison said. "Yes, we have a gang problem, but we really have a problem with adults taking responsibility for their children."

Police say they hope to fill the open jobs soon, but it still takes time to train those officers and get them up to speed.

If you have any information on any of the recent shootings in wilmington contact police.

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You get what you pay for...

Officers have been leaving the police department in droves. Why? Low pay and especially, UNEQUAL pay. When you don't give employees raises for 4 years, they leave for something better. What's the result? The increase in violent crime you have right now. The department is short 19 officers now... but there are many more planning on departing.

As long as Wilmington remains nothing more than a retirement playground city for the rich and a haven for the homeless, the city economy will never generate the revenue needed to hire and maintain a professional police force.

Saying it like it is

Just last week Thursday, after a shooting, “WPD says despite numerous people standing around the immediate area, no one provided any additional information to investigators.”

“Oh well”, I said to myself, it’s the hood; they really don't even care about helping themselves. If they don't care about fixing their own neighborhood why should anyone else? Things will never get any better there.”

Last night, the Rev. James Jamison Jr. of Hope Baptist Church for all Nations said “I've never seen in my life so many African-American males perishing and people are walking around like they're almost oblivious to what is happening to them". Sunday and Monday, several posters in response to an article about putting more police on patrol in the neighborhood posted that that’s a bad idea because it would essentially be dangerous to the police so they shouldn’t go there (a position I still find totally ludicrous).

“Yep, the hood doesn’t give a crap about itself and some of the rest of us think if we just leave it alone it’ll only be the hood’s problem. Business as usual” I thought.

Then I read this entire news piece .....

“Hampton Colclough, who lives in the neighborhood where a teen was shot and killed last week” actually spoke out about what’s going on.

“Hmm ... Don’t see that happening too often” I thought. “Seems like most of the time nobody says nothing!”

And then the icing on the cake (OK, at this point maybe it’s still just a cupcake, but at least it’s a cake) ..... Rev. James Jamison, an African-American, a neighborhood leader who’s intimate with the neighborhood and its problems said “"Yes, we have a gang problem, but we really have a problem with adults taking responsibility for their children." No sugar coating. No blaming everything and everyone else. No excuses. Just a simple statement that acknowledges a large part of the problem head on and actually says it like it is.

If more people like Mr. Colclough and the Rev. Jamison were to step up and speak out maybe there’ll be some hope for that neighborhood after all.

That would be good for all of us.

Gang Shootings

Until law abiding citizens report crime activity,"TALK" to police, and parents start taking responsibility for their children, nothing is going to change. All the money and police you throw at this won't solve the problem. Its a cultural issue plain and simple!

Why doesn't the

Why doesn't the African-American community get out there and control "their babies", instead of letting our police handle what they couldn't raise correctly. They have a hit on our cops like a game, they just need to keep killing each other so the violence will wind down. Our officers have lives of their own, families of their own, and they're doing what they're supposed to so their children grow up better than these worthless thugs on the streets. I hope Mr. Preacher Man can get his rally and make a change.

Shootings and murders

Finally, a member of the African-American community has stepped up to the mic and has told African-American PARENTS that they HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for THEIR CHILDREN! Amen, brother! Preach it!
Teen-agers having babies -- all paid for by NC taxpayers -- and then the taxpayers provide these teen-agers and their babies with housing, food, and other assistance ... a culture of not owning up to one's actions and responsibilities has been born.
Then, when those babies start getting older and mouthier, the parents (by then it's usually the mom as dad has moved on shortly after becoming a "baby daddy")don't even try to raise the child. Instead, they allow the street to become the child's learning environment.
And the current black-on-black assaults and murders are the end result. It's sad and maddening -- when are the families of these young men going to speak up -- and do something to stop this madness?

Remember: Once you hire

Remember: Once you hire them, you have to train them. Once you train them, you have to do something to keep them. Without the support of the local government and citizens, these guys/gals will get a little experience under their belts and then move on to greener pastures. I am not talking about just money, either. Let them know what they are expected to do, how they are expected to do it and what will they face if they do not provide enforcement as prescribed. If they are in the right, have the guts to say so and stick with them. If they are wrong, take the appropriate action to correct the wrong. If they do a good job, tell them and the public. If they screw things up, tell them and the public and fix the problems.
Most officers aren't on the job for the money. Those folks don't hang around long. Most are committed to doing the job.