New WPD policy requires patrolling officers to keep cruise lights on

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WPD is experimenting with a new policy requiring officers to keep their cruise lights on while patrolling. (Photo: Wilmington Police Department)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you see a Wilmington Police Department vehicle with two blue lights on, don’t be alarmed.

In an effort to increase police visibility and deter crime, the WPD is experimenting with a new policy requiring officers to keep their cruise lights on while patrolling.

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These lights are located on each side of the light bar on the roof of the vehicle and do not flash or move in any way. During emergencies or traffic stops, officers will utilize the standard flashing lights and sirens.

Several other U.S. agencies have implemented this change within the last year, including the Lincoln, NC police department.

It comes on the heels of a sharp uptick in violent crime across the nation including locally.

“Studies show that the use of lights aids in deterring crime, but this accomplishes more than just that,” Deputy Chief Ben Kennedy said. “It will help citizens locate an officer when they are in need of assistance and makes it even more apparent that our officers are actively patrolling the areas where residents, business owners, and visitors live, work, and play. This simple change can have a large impact on how safe people feel in the city of Wilmington.”