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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon told county commissioners this morning he has a new plan to fight crime.

It involves a seven new positions, six deputies and one sergeant, who will work side-by-side with seven Wilmington Police officers in the city’s public housing projects.

McMahon says the rise in crime in these communities has to dealt with immediately. That’s why he asked county commissioners for more than $600,000 to form a new unit to help patrol the public housing communities.

“It’s going to be made up of seven deputies and seven police officers mixed in together,” McMahon said.

county commissioners unanimously approved the money monday morning.

“They deserve to live without fear,” Commissioner Thomas Wolfe said.

Wolfe says the partnership between the county and city is the answer.

“They’re gonna come up with some solutions and help us with the gang-related activity we’ve got in our community,” he said.

More than $260,000 will fund the full-time joint housing unit this year. More than $400,000 will pay for next year.

The Housing Unit will patrol Wilmington Housing Authority properties with two goals.

“We want to build a relationship and trust with the citizens who live in this area, and at the same time go ahead and remove the criminal element,” McMahon said.

Commission Chair Woody White said the sheriff proved that New Hanover County is at a tipping point.

“The preferred method of allocating tax payer dollars is to go through the budget process,” White said. “What we did today is an exception to that. The sheriff convinced us that the need is great; the need is now.”

And the money to fund it is available now.

We tried to talk with folks who live in these communities today, but no one would go on camera.

Last month Wilmington City Council agreed to fun a similar unit for the police department.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest7969

    not only do I have to subsidize their housing, electricity and Obama Phone…now I have to pay for officers to patrol there to make sure they behave….CRAP..that’s what THAT is!

  • Beach Bum

    You forgot health insurance courtesy of the Affordable Health Care law.

  • SurfCityTom

    would go on camera. Wonder why?

    Will lawbreakers be permanently banned from the projects? Will their families, if they live in one of the projects be evicted and banned if their relative is convicted of a crime while residing on the property?

    Will parents be held accountable for their law breaking children?

    When does the money bleeding end?

  • guesty

    “We tried to talk with folks who live in these communities today, but no one would go on camera.”

    How long before the screaming starts that the popo is harassing and intimidating the fine residents of those areas?

  • guest now

    Maybe.its because the police witness list was released to the criminals…wouldn’t you be scared to talk to the police if they cant protect a witness list…i have a friend who witnessed a gang member committing the crime once the witness list got out somebody shot at her house but the da and police didnt even offer her a witness protection..instead they arrived to the scene and.questioned.and.harrassed her like she.was a.suspect, later in the week we was watching the.news and seen that a witness list was in the hands of the wrong person, this.is why she was targeted.. i promised mysef.from here on out i dont know nothing i didnt see anything im minding my own business

  • Sickandtired

    So…..because of these thugs, gangs and high crime rates in the projects, the sheriff wants almost 3/4 of a million to assign more deputies to the city? It’s a city problem! It’s just like the downtown bar problem. The city couldn’t handle that so the sheriff, being the politician he is, GAVE the city five positions for the downtown task force. And yes, they are assigned to the city and are still working downtown. Now they will be giving them MORE positions for the housing authority. Just months ago, they were saying we didn’t have money to assign deputies to the schools but now we magically have money for the projects! Really??? Guess what is coming up? The election for sheriff, that’s what! Go ahead and sign over the sheriffs department to the police department. Apparently that’s what is slowly happening.

  • ML525

    It is often forgotten that the city lies within the county and that deputies can and do respond to the city for several different types of calls. ANY citizen can request a deputy in place of a WPD officer and they will get one. City residents pay both city and county taxes and should be afforded the protection that these agencies combined can provide for them.

  • tke1

    Guess where Wilmington is located.IN New Hanover county, which means it is still within the Sheriff’s jurisdiction. Maybe you haven’t noticed it but crime and thugs don’t know or care anything about the city limits. They may commit the crime in the housing projects but it also affects all the people in the county when these same hoodlums go outside of town and rob and shoot. The projects are just a safe haven for them to hide.

  • Guest-o-matic

    …you’re definitely doing the right thing by remaining quiet and not saying a word! They would never be able to understand you…

  • guesty

    The prosecuting office can’t keep the witness list from the defense attorney or they would be held for withholding evidence. So the defense attorney allowed the client to see the witness list.

    If you are willing to take the mindset of don’t know anything and didn’t see anything, you are a major part of the problem.

  • Wilmington Observer

    I’m sure that you have heard it before, but I’ll repeat it again: “you have the right to remain silent”. Please exercise that right. This is a tourist town. That means people from all over the country (sometimes the world) come here to vacation. Those people read our local news. When reading the local news, they form an opinion of the area (in part) by the comments left by, local, residents. You, apparently, don’t care about your own image, but there are those of us, who would like for our area to be able to maintain some symblance of of an educated community.

    Your post makes it very clear that, if you graduated high school, it was another example of the failure of the public school system letting everyone pass, regardless of their ability to read and write.

    In case you missed it the first time, you have the right to remain silent, please exercise that right so as not to embarass the rest of the community.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Tim

    When will it stop? More fleecing of the taxpayers because these people on the dole cannot look after themselves and are a threat to the honest citizens of Wilmington. It is not even safe to walk around Wilmington now and the politicians cringe whenever William Barber and the NAACP criticize the police. What has happened to our town? When will our citizens stand up and say no more! No wonder we cannot attract industry and new businesses here.


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