A team of officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made their way to Wilmington to take a close look at crime records and anything else related to violence.
“While we don’t know where the CDC study will take us, we need to apply as many tools as possible to stop the enormous damage that is occurring to people and neighborhoods in some areas of Wilmington,” said Wilmington City Council Member Hanifa Shabazz, D-4th District.
The CDC team arrived Monday according to Shabazz, who introduced a resolution in December inviting officials to visit and study the impact of violence in Wilmington. In 2013, the Delaware Division of Public Health recorded 154 shootings in the city and 15 gun-related deaths. So far this year, the city has seen at least 10 homicides and 38 shootings. The CDC will now take that information and develop recommendations that could help tackle the city’s crime.
The CDC already considers violence a public health problem and has been to the state before to research teen suicides.
“We believe the CDC can apply the same kind of scientific analysis to gun violence in Wilmington and offer concrete recommendations to reduce the number of shootings and the overall trauma to the community,” said Sec. Rita Landgraf of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.
Landgraf said the study is another tool in moving toward a healthier Wilmington. Landgraf and Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams were both very supportive in bringing the CDC to the City.
“Through this effort, in conjunction with the execution of the Cure Violence model and an emphasis on police officers building a stronger relationship within the community, we continue to work towards making our city safer,” Williams said.