Wilmington police chief calls for internal ‘cultural reset’

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Tuesday, Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams sat down virtually with the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear, which is a non-partisan organization committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

He addressed the department’s new mission and value statements and continuing to promote a “cultural reset.”

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The discussion addressed new projects and initiatives for WPD officers, like “Active Bystander Law Enforcement,” the “Fair and Impartial Policing Training with the Institute of Police” and the Culture & History program.

Williams says the goal is to reinforce the community’s confidence and sense of trust in the department.

“George Floyd, when that happened I knew that that was an unfortunate event, but it was also an opportunity for us to further reset the culture,” Williams said. “What the focus of our reset is internally, how we operate as a department, the things we do, how we treat people. Not that we have historically treated people bad or anything, but I want our citizens to be treated the best that they can be treated.”

Williams also noted that in March, more members of WPD will undergo Project ABLE training, stressing its importance for the reset.

“It’s great to have a duty to intervene policy, but are your people trained to actually intervene? That’s what ABLE is all about,” he said.

He also says the goal is to serve the community in a greater way.

“That is what the desired end result is, better service for our citizens through good police officers with the best training that can be offered,” Williams said. “I think at the end of the day, that results in a safe community that has confidence in its law enforcement agency.”

You’ll be able to watch the meeting on the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear’s YouTube page.