Wilmington Crime Reduced to Lowest in Close to a Decade

With an emphasis on Community Engagement and implementation of the CompStat methodology, the police force in Wilmington is beginning to see a certain decrease in the crime rate. This progress is inspiring as crime rates for 2018 are lower in comparison to any of the past 9 years. Mayor Purzycki stated in an interview that there are two mindsets of policing, one being the warrior method, and the other being the guardian method. Chief Tracy has been sure to implement the guardian method in Wilmington’s policing techniques. In addition, the community meetings that are held are helping to voice the needs of those living in Wilmington so that the police force can better address and implement their services. This has resulted in more service calls and a higher trust in Wilmington’s officers.

Mayor Purzycki said when Chief Tracy was hired on April 14, 2017, the Chief expressed optimism at that time that his policing reforms would begin to produce lower crime numbers at about the one year mark, if not sooner. “Neither the Chief nor I know whether these improving numbers will continue throughout the year,” said Mayor Purzycki. “But it is encouraging to know that the WPD’s new emphasis on community engagement, intelligence-led policing, directed patrols and instituting the CompStat methodology are producing better results than we have seen in the past few years.”

Chief Tracy said there have been six gun homicides so far this year compared to 16 as of this date last year. Overall, there have been nine homicides in 2018, with three being non-shooting related but domestic in nature. Six of the nine homicides occurred inside residences while only three happened on City streets. The Chief said shooting incidents have dropped 61% over last year, or 25 incidents this year versus 64 in 2017. There have been 43 fewer shooting victims so far this year—27 this year versus 70 in 2017—for a 61% reduction. Including all categories— murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and auto theft—crime in Wilmington in 2018 is down 8% thus far over 2017. Click here to access the updated reports.

How They’re Doing It

“The men and woman of the WPD have responded well to a redefined command structure and different policing techniques that, when combined, are beginning to change the culture of the Department and its approach to policing in Wilmington,” said Chief Tracy. “We operate every day as though our most important asset is the community. We’ve worked hard to win the trust of citizens and to keep that trust. We will continue to actively seek their assistance in curbing crime, which we feel is a huge factor as to why crime trends are moving in the right direction.”

Chief Tracy today reminded citizens that they can track the crime numbers for all of Wilmington and particular neighborhoods on a regular basis by reviewing the WPD’s CompStat reports which are published on the City’s website at http://bit.ly/WilmDECompStat. The WDP’s latest Compstat report is being released as part of today’s news announcement.

What This Means for Wilmington

It goes without saying that the crime reduction in Wilmington would lead to a better quality of life for its citizens and community, would allow for more growth and progress, and would create an area in which more people are willing to reside, do business, and live out their lives. Seeing this trend begin to take place is inspirational for the community. The community will hopefully begin to grow and keep this trend going, allowing for its current and future residents to begin to feel a sense of safety.

The Wilmington Leaders Alliance takes safety and livability very seriously. As one of our four core areas, We believe that “both real and perceived safety affects relationships between citizens, businesses and authorities, reinforcing cooperative behavior that helps build trust, happiness and ultimately the livability of cities.” Making sure our city is safe and well-equipped and trusted to fight and address crime especially in the face of accidents and emergencies, will ensure the growth and prosperity of this great city.

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