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WPD hopes to curb gun violence with hotline

WILMINGTON -- This week marked the fourth murder of this young year in Wilmington all of them involved guns. To curb rising gun violence, police are trying to develop a new tip hotline geared toward gun control. Residents can anonymously call and report the location of weapons someone may have illegally. Wilmington police hope grants from the city will help fund the project. Police say the possibility of reward money could help reduce the number of guns on the streets. Deputy Chief of Police David Conklin said, "We are continuing our efforts. What we are trying to do is expand it, but we also need the community involvement, it's not just things we see, you know a lot of people and that's who it's aimed at -- [people who] see things and don't know how to get us the information." Wilmington Police hope to have the hotline up and running within the next couple months.

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Perspective check

Why need there be a hotline to report guns? If someone is a threat, you should call 911. One police department started a similar program, then rapidly dropped it -- it made people notice guns, and they were reporting all of the undercover detectives! I predict that this will be trumpeted as a great new tool, then fade into obscurity. In a year, this same phone number will be used to hire school crossing guards.

HUH! Report illegal guns?

If the dang police can put together an effort like this and go after the illegal weapons that are in the city then they surely could do the same thing and go after the illegal ALIEN CRIMINALS we already have hear as well! I only hope this is successful, then the case will be proven that the police should be going after the illegal aliens that are also causing violence in this town as well. You might be against it, but think about it. It only makes common sense. Why not at the same time take calls about people that are causing all the violence? WAIT, THATS 911! I see a pattern of something NOT working here.

Are they crazy?

Anyone thinking this is good idea is nuts! The police will abuse this! It is all hear-say, will a warrant be issued on that? Hear-say is not even admissible in court. They must have gotten this idea from Hitler's Mein Kompf!

It's not "hearsay"

Don't confuse what is admissable in court with what is needed to establish probable cause to obtain a search warrant. The latter requirement is far lower, and that's nothing new: It's always been that way. You need "beyond a reasonable doubt" to convict someone. You only need a reasonable belief to establish probable cause. If the police receive a tip that makes sense and can convince a magistrate that it's likely true, the warrant gets issued.

I understand that, but

I understand that, but hearsay being probable cause? I just see the potential for abuse. Can we really trust the police to do the right thing? Your use of the word "convince" makes me nervous.

You obviously have issues

You obviously have issues with LE. I seriously doubt that officer will take what another says without doing some sort of research on it.

Why be nervous...

...unless you have something to be nervous about? Police don't want to waste their time, and they certainly don't get their jollies rousting law-abiding citizens. There's a lot of truth in that great line from "Casablanca," "Round up the usual suspects." The RIGHT suspect is quite often found among the usual suspects. The vast majority of law-enforcement effort is dedicated to the same people over and over and over again. So if the police get an anonymous tip that "DeWayne have a gun," if DeWayne is a career criminal who has had numerous convictions, odds say that it's worthwhile to check him out.... ...and they really don't even need a warrant. Stop him the first time you see him after dark and you can search him on the spot because of the need to insure officer safety.

Why not add Project Exile, too

If you're a convicted felon possessing a firearm, you go to jail. Five years minimum in the federal slammer, because it's a violation of federal law. It worked in Richmond. It worked in the Tidewater Area of Virginia. It worked in Atlanta. Why does North Carolina refuse to work with the feds to treat criminals like criminals?