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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.

Comment on this Story

  • tke1

    If you believe the prosecutor’s main goal is not to clear the docket, go sit in the courtroom for about a week and see how many cases are dismissed plea bargained or reduced versus those tried out. Without these “easy outs” the docket would be backed up til eternity.
    This is the game the Moral Monday crowd is playing in Raleigh. Their purpose is to clog up the court system with trials so that their cases will be dismissed without punishment. This ploy goes back to the 1960’s and 1970’s with the civil rights and anti-Vietnam protests. It is nothing new, just a repeat of the liberal playbook.

  • PublicAvenger

    The Wilmington Police Department is doing an excellent job of arresting violent offenders, and preparing cases against them. Right now, Plea Bargaining is a Necessary Evil. If even 25% of the cases in New Hanover County (And North Carolina) were fully tried, we would have to build 3 more county courthouses. There would not be enough room in the clogged up prison system, anyway, for the many extra thousands of years sentenced, by the judges, just in New Hanover County, alone.

    We need to reduce the prison population. We are spending $15,000 / Year, on thousands of murderers, drug traffickers, and child molesters. We should be giving them, the Death Penalty.

    Can anybody tell me why we are going to spend several millions of dollars on those monsters that killed the Chinese delivery man, or the Cape Fear Community College student, who was just walking home from work ? Or the convicted rapist, who buried a 17 year old girl, in his yard ?

    There are at least 20 convicted people a month, in NC, who do not belong in prison, but should be given lethal injections.

    Let me see…. that’s 240 less lifers, per year, times 20 years, life average. That’s 4800 less Deadly Criminals, in the Prison System.

    Now, with prison space available, we can slam these revolving door offenders. And reduce the plea bargaining.

    Instead, we just have frustrated Sheriffs, DA’s, Police Chiefs, Judges, and Probation Officials, pointing fingers at each other.

  • Guest Reply Redux

    Proof that Wilmington needs to grow up *quite a bit* in its law enforcement and judicial cooperation with one another…no doubt! And after how many years of existence in the Public’s interest??? The D.A. should have known his SH*T and handled this situation without embarrassment…but then again, it’s what they are used to.

    Back up just a minute now. Was Rashawn Hines really assigned a different Probation Officer without knowledge (as Rashawn Hines states) but was really never informed of that transpiring, which lead to him missing a meeting with the new officer…which henceforth got him released from custody from the “Visiting Judge”? That was the judge the Police Chief spoke of in his interview last week with WWAY. If Hines is speaking the truth…Ye Ole Police Chief put his tootsies in his mouth…and the visiting Judge helped him along the way…HA!
    Keep the news reporting for the reporters that know how to investigate journalism on a story such as this. After all…WWAY printed it…but never finished it.

  • hugathug

    No matter what you do there will be people in the neighborhood who are just inherently bad people. Out of the 100 people placed on probation 40% are good people who just screwed up and law makes them be supervised. 40% are just awaiting their revocation hearing while harming people in the neighborhood b/c justice reinvestment act makes people who give a damn about public safety have to give them 3-4 more chances specifically because probation officers are now supposed to be mental health professionals and predict future activities of people who live for the moment and do not care. people on probation usually do not follow though with the state paid mental health assistance that is available, but it all comes back to the P.O who should have physically brought them to counselor while trying to keep track of people who are a threat to society. Now the other 20% who are on the fence a good P.O would be able to possibly redirect them to being a law abiding citizen. I would image it is hard to focus on any on of the percentages when you have abnormal caseloads.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Ben David clearly in this interview is saying that law enforcement is not giving his staff the what they need to prosecute cases. Share information???? He has the entire criminal history of someone being prosecuted, what else do you want to share???? This problem doesn’t just stop with WPD and Probation, it’s much larger than the public thinks. It clearly expands to greater regions of law enforcement. He says they aren’t clearing dockets but explain how someone with 3 prior Driving while Revoked charges gets a PJC or the guy that was charged with Carrying a Concealed weapon (Gun) gets everything dismissed by the ADA. That evidence sounds clear to me. These ADA’s are quick to dismiss a case. Ben David in this interview won’t even look at the camera, he looks down and to the left or right most of the time. Those of you that have been to interview and interrogaton schools, you know exactly what this means.

  • really?

    Here is a little project for you News3. Look at the number of citations issued in this county then look at the number of “Dismissed without Leave” by the DA’s office. Then research the number of court records(shucks as they call them) missing from the clerks office. Officers have got copies of their paperwork that seem to never go to trial but the court has no clue what happened to the cases. If the ADA’s continue to dismiss everything because its too much work to prosecute, the officers in this county are simply wasting their time.

  • It is what it is

    So Evangelous wasn’t there ? That about sums up the rest of his Wilmington career too. Never there when you need him .

  • Itiswhatitis

    So Ralph wasn’t there when he should have been .. Let me nervously tug at my tie ( something he always does when he has to face the music ) and say ” I’m here to tell you” (he says that when he knows he messed up and is trying to convince you it wasn’t his fault ) he’d be the worst poker player of all time …

  • SurfCityTom

    where did it say the Chief was not present? It did not.

    It said he was the only one authorized to discuss on behalf of the WPD; and he was on vacation and could not comment.

    There is a difference.

    Now, was the vacation previously scheduled? Or did he take the time after the meeting was held? That would be a relevant question.

    Go back to school; take a reading comprehension course.

  • Guest123123

    This is the difference. David says the new law went into effect in January. Here it is August and they are just now having a meeting. Department heads of a private company would have met months before the change and had their ducks in a row. Chief and DA both make way over 100k a year and I’m sure the head of probation is in the same salary range. Is everyone getting the point here.

  • Guest-o-matic

    Start applying sentences that MEAN something and stop allowing people that we KNOW are going to commit more crime back into the public sector. Sure, there will be a temporary need for a few more courthouses, judges and lawyers, but after the message gets out, the criminals will likely start thinking about what they are doing, you can trim that staff down to about 1/3. This can all be accomplished without new taxes. It takes guts, it takes action and it takes politicians getting up off their asses and making some serious changes!

    Three felonies and you’re in for LIFE, no exceptions, no pardons. Life doesn’t mean 10 or 20 years, it means LIFE. Prepare accordingly for the rest of your life, you asked for it at least three times and knew the rules ahead of time, we’re going to give it to you!

    Put every able prisoner to work…immediately!

    Model all new prisons after the very successful facilities that exist in Mexico, Bolivia and Turkey. Those prisoners NEVER want to go back! The prisoners will make the materials and build these new facilities under close scrutiny!

    No more TV. Over and out.

    Heat and A/C? Turn it off! Only use it on oppressively hot or cold days as essential survival.

    Paint, shiney bars and bright lights? Forget it, the stark nature of bare stone, concrete and steel is very appropriate for prison. One 40 watt light bulb for each 8 x 10 only.

    No more workout facilities. Done. Your job will be your workout.

    No more educational programs. That isn’t what prison is there for. I had to pay for my education, not commit crimes to get it. You shouldn’t either!

    Basic nutrition only. Water, no sodas, no tea.

    Apply one-year appeal process for death row inmates. If they can’t get it done in a year, get their arm ready for the needle. The 15 year average that exist today is nothing less than ludacris at best. You made the conviction, enforce it in a timely manner!

    The court and prison system has evolved into a huge drag on taxpayer money. It is extremely poorly managed at best, lacks innovation, is ineffective, is expensive and basically does nothing but make a bunch of judges have lifetime benefits and put a ton of money in lawyers pockets. The courtroom is a mockery of law at best. The criminals know the game, they play it and we the taxpayers pay for it. Then they get out and do it all over again, to the very people that paid for them the first time. A vicious circle…a vicious joke!

    If we would really get serious about crime in this nation and start applying some of the simple techniques outlined above, we would start seeing reductions in violent crime immediately.

  • Comprehension

    It clearly states in the last line of the article .. That Evangelous was not part of the meeting .

  • The Dude

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

    Looks like they comprehended it just fine .

  • Guest1920

    Who needs to take reading comprehension again?

  • SurfCityTom

    for the correction. I completely missed that. But the question remains. When was the meeting planned? Was it planned while the Chief was already on vacation and planned for a day while he would be on vacation.

    Don’t forget, the DA is an elected official and he has to blow his horn in anticipation of the next election.


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