New Hanover County law enforcement rolls out new safety campaign
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — At a press conference today at Wilmington Police Headquarters, New Hanover County law enforcement agencies announced a new safety campaign for the area. The program is called “Listen – Explain, Comply – Complain.”
Wilmington Police has teamed up with the Carolina Beach Police Department, Kure Beach Police Department, Wrightsville Beach Police Department, UNCW Police, and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for the campaign.
According to Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangeous, about 99 percent of violent interactions between police and people are due to a failure to comply.
“The time is not there in the field to start arguing or having a physical confrontation,” said Evangelous. “It’s a two way street. It’s not all on law enforcement.”
The program will encourage officers to listen to listen to folks and explain their reasoning for stopping someone. In return, law enforcement asks that folks comply during the situation, and should they need file a complaint later rather than getting into an altercation at the scene.
Criminal Defense Attorney, James Payne, said he thinks this new program is a great idea. He said this program will help to keep the balance between people and officers.
“The point is to respect the law and if they are being ordered to do something that they would choose not to do, leave that for the court system to settle,” said Payne. He adds that complying on scene can often prevent additional charges from being added after an encounter with law enforcement.
Starting on Friday, videos for the campaign will begin playing in area movie theaters.