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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — District Attorney Ben David says a meeting Friday with his office, Wilmington Police and probation has already led to progress.

The group met to talk about how they can more effectively work together. David said the agencies need to share information to make sure criminals they want behind bars do not wind up back on the streets.

“What we are having to do frankly is work a little bit differently and smarter with the information we have,” David said.

David says his office, WPD and probation are working differently because of changes to the law.

“The Justice Reinvestment Act, for instance, says that we can’t revoke people on probation like we used to,” he said.

David says the law went into effect in January making communication between agencies vital.

To best protect the community day or night David says information sharing is key, so investigators and probation officers can know each other’s priorities.

Police officers we’ve spoken with, though, believe prosecutors have a different priority than they do: clearing a crowded criminal docket. The county’s top prosecutor says that’s simply not the case.

“We will emphatically never sacrifice doing justice at the expense of efficiency,” David said.

The meeting came after Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said a judge let one of the city’s worst offenders out of jail, even though his investigators had a good case. Despite those frustrations, the District Attorney says all the departments involved have the same goal end.

“At times we can disagree, but the only thing we are certain on is that we all want the same thing, and that is for this place to be as safe as possible and to make sure career criminals are held fully accountable,” David said.

A WPD spokeswoman said Chief Evangelous was the only person who could discuss the meeting for WPD, but the chief is on vacation.

David said Evangelous was not part of Friday’s meeting.

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