City Council approves funding for WPD gang investigative unit

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Submitted: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 3:18am
Updated: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 12:03pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous asked for and received more than $142,000 for a new gang investigative unit, and reinforcements are coming to his department not a minute too soon.

“Our officers are running ragged and we can’t be effective running from call, to call, to call,” said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.

Help is on the way for the Wilmington Police Department in the form of a new five member gang investigative unit.

This comes one day after the department said it would join with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to form a 64-officer task force to step up patrols.

“What we’re doing by flooding the area right now is a tactic that most agencies will use for a short term approach,” said Evangelous. “We can have an impact. The problem is that it does hinder relations in the community.”

Though the Wilmington Police Department is at full staff Evangelous says it could be January before more uniforms hit the street.

To help bridge the gap the department will use part of the $142,000 from council for 10 new “over-hires” to create flexibility and cover department losses.

“Our good people leave,” said Evangelous. “They’ll make more money at other locations. Let’s pay them competitively, let’s pay them fairly.”

While council says they stand behind the chief they feel there are other ways the city can fight the ongoing violence.

“We need to try and create more hope for the men and women in our inner cities so that they don’t feel that they have to go to the gangs for their purpose in life,” said Councilman Kevin O’Grady.

“It costs us all as citizens $28,000 a year to incarcerate a human being,” said Mayor Bill Saffo. “We’d rather have that person out working, and being a productive citizen, paying taxes.”

Leave a Reply

5 Comments on "City Council approves funding for WPD gang investigative unit"

guest 123123
2015 years 8 months ago

Comment by ogrady is typical liberal talk. More hope. You create your own hope and try to make your own way in life. If you prefer to make in one day what you would make in a month at McDonalds but you have to rob or sell drugs to do it that is just flat out lazy and a bad choice.

2015 years 8 months ago

Mayor Bill Saffo. “We’d rather have that person out working, and being a productive citizen, paying taxes.”
OK, Mayor. Now tell me what that has to do with the WPD. That line is just your “out” to not spend that money with the Police Department.
While that is a wonderful wish, it is something that will not happen for years, possibly generations down the road. The people in the neighborhoods and the city as a whole need protection NOW!! Is it possible you are not ready and willing to honestly and firmly face the “community activists” that are going to cry “racism” every time officers ride through the hood? Of course they are correct EVERY time they whine and cry to you and your administration.
Are you willing and prepared to eliminate politics and political correctness from this unit?
I have never met you but after reading your comments, I have serious doubts where your heart is, especially if it might cost you a vote.
Please prove me wrong.

Hope & Change
2015 years 8 months ago

“We need to try and create more hope for the men and women in our inner cities….”

I thought Obama was going to provide HOPE. I guess he has left it up to the TAXPAYER to provide as usual.

2015 years 8 months ago

I am ALL for the Postive!!! But until people start working with issues in the home and raising postive minded children, then you will have negative issuses. Why do we always want something for FREE.. WOW… Place a GED program, Continued Education program, music program, reading & math program, anything that is postive in their community and see how many attend. But yet they have so much to complain about when something dont go their way. Its a disgrace that the city has to invest this kind of money into some foolishness, when it couls be used to other issues. ALL THIS IS GOING TO DO IS MAKE PEOPLE END PAYING MORE IN COURT FEES and ETC. Thank you. What should be done is that they criminals and whom they live with should get jobs and have to pay back the money for this program. Oh if it matters I am Afro American.

2015 years 8 months ago

How about taking a page from Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden’s playbook and use seized drug money to fund this gang initiative?