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City's response to Downtown Wilmington murder

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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE FROM THE CITY OF WILMINGTON) -- We mourn the tragic and unfortunate loss of life of the young man who was shot last night near the Hannah Block Community Arts Center. While the details of last night's fatal shooting are being investigated, it is important to note the significant efforts that have been, and are being made by public safety personnel to increase safety downtown.

· 2012 is on pace to have the fewest serious and violent crimes in the CBD in a decade.

· Violent crime in the downtown area in 2011 was down 32% from 2010. Despite last night's shooting, the trend continues downward in 2012, with an 11% decrease year-to-date.

· From 2002 to 2012, overall crime in the CBD decreased by 36%, while the population increased by 33%.

· In July 2011, Chief Ralph Evangelous took the lead in establishing a 16-member Downtown Task Force made up of law enforcement officers from both the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Previously, there were only four dedicated officers in the CBD.

· Since its implementation, the Task Force has been active and visible day and night, seven days a week. Task Force members often are on foot, but they also patrol using bicycles or Segway. They conduct undercover operations as needed. The emphasis is on reducing crime and maintaining safety throughout the area.

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