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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s gang problem is nothing new, but WPD hopes a new Gang Investigative Unit will finally help beat the violence.

Deputy Chief Mitch Cunningham is overseeing the creation of the new unit. He says he thinks it will reduce violence and help dismantle gangs permanently.

But WPD has had gang initiatives in the past.

“At one point we had a housing and gang unit,” Cunningham said. “They were combined, but we realized that our best effort is to focus one group of people to focus on this solely.”

Cunningham says that’s the man difference between previous attempts and this one.

“We split the units, so in other words we had a housing and gang unit. We’re going to create this additional unit, and this unit will act as a component part to our overall strategy with enforcement against gangs and gang crime,” he said.

Cunningham says previous attempts to fight gangs were not unsuccessful. This time around, though, there will also be a civilian computer analyst to help with intelligence gathering.

“Four additional resources, plus a supervisor, plus an intel analyst. And then, the ability to just work more closely on this issue with the community,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham asks for the community’s help in this effort. He says any bit of information, small or big, will help.

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