WILMINGTON -- Local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to tackle violent crime in the greater Wilmington area. Police aren't sure if recent shootings are gang related, but cracking down on gangs is one way they are trying to curb violent crime. Sergeant Amy Dover of the Wilmington Police Department heads the gang task force for the city. She says summertime is prime time for increased gang activity. Sergeant Dover said, "Kids are out of school, they're bored, they don't have a lot to do. So you see an increased number of kids on the street, a lot of them are wearing their gang colors." A Wilmington detective was recently assigned to an FBI gang task force. Sergeant Dover says this will bring in more resources for the city and hopefully help ease concerns. "We've had a lot of parents and community members calling for us to come out and look at graffiti because they were concerned when they see large groups of kids hanging on the corner wearing the same color," she said. Adrian Poe lives on Tenth Street and says he generally feels safe. He often sees police patrolling the area. Poe said, "I do see them come around the corners around the different areas driving around in circles a little bit." Despite the patrolling, Poe says he wishes lines of communication were more open. Poe said, "A little bit more police presence to get rid of the fear factor between us and police, to be a little bit more on a friendly basis so we can be more comfortable with them so we'll want to call them if we see any problems." Sergeant Dover says the police department needs the community's help to help tackle gang activity and violence. She encourages attending programs to teach how to recognize gang signs and symbols.
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