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City Council meets to discuss adding law enforcement


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council will consider an ordinance requesting more than 300- thousand dollars to create a mobile field force within the Wilmington Police Department.

Crime in Wilmington is down from 2004 to 2012 according to Police Chief Ralph Evangelous. But police say there is still a need for an increased force on fighting crime before it happens.

Evangelous proposed a new plan to create a mobile field force within the police department. He says it's important to detect suspicious behavior before criminals strike. Evangelous says, "Merely preventing the crime only displaces it, because when you have evil intentions, you are going to commit evil acts. We need to take those people off the street and incarcerate them."

The mobile field force would cost an estimated $465,000. About $260,000 would pay for additional officers. The other $205,000 would buy unmarked cars. The unit will complement existing strategies such as neighborhood patrol.

The mobile field force will be divided into two teams, one soley dedicated to undercover assignments.

The Wilmington Police Department says there is a trend of crimes moving from one neighborhood to another.

City Council member, Neil Anderson says, "And we have seen some activity from people, which the chief termed 'packs', you know people that it's not like a one person walking around it's several. And that kind of thing you have to combat it with a little bit of a pack, if you will, and this mobile field force allows us to do that."

If the measure is approved, the Wilmington Police Department would have a 12 officer unit by spring to respond quickly to crime, anywhere in the city.

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