WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As the City of Wilmington works to make downtown safer, the prosecutor’s office is on the verge of losing a position that District Attorney Ben David says could ruin the positive momentum.
The DA wants Wilmington City Council to step up and help him ensure the safety of everyone who comes downtown.
“We want to make sure that the momentum that we’ve built up over the last several years isn’t lost,” David said.
David says that momentum has improved safety in downtown Wilmington. He says its gotten better over the last decade thanks to a number of efforts.
Downtown patrons agree.
“If it wasn’t a safe environment, then people wouldn’t come out late at night to see shows and see what’s happening in the cultural and art areas of Wilmington,” Wilmington resident Evan Baker said.
But state budget cuts mean the DA could soon lose a staff member who coordinates efforts between law enforcement and prosecutors in schools and downtown. So David is asking City Council for a $50,000 grant to save the position he calls vital.
“We’re going to have more death and destruction each year through driving while impaired than guns and knives put together, so this needs to be a critical issue for us,” David said.
While the $50,000 price tag may seem steep to some, Wilmington residents we spoke to say they’re all for it.
“They need to make sure that downtown is safe for everybody to be,” Ashley Faulk said. “This is a vacation town, so they’re bringing kids, adults and the elderly down here, and you don’t want anything bad to happen, so they’ll go back to their town and tell everybody what it’s like in New Hanover County.”
David will make a presentation to City Council during an agenda briefing meeting at City Hall Monday morning.