Denn takes Delaware AG oath, unveils Wilmington crime initiative [video]

 Matt Denn speaks at the Wilmington PAL center after being sworn in as Delaware's Attorney General. (Charlie O'Neill/WHYY)

Matt Denn speaks at the Wilmington PAL center after being sworn in as Delaware's Attorney General. (Charlie O'Neill/WHYY)

Matt Denn took the oath of office at the Wilmington Police Athletic League and revealed plans for more police in Wilmington.

Denn was sworn in Tuesday afternoon, repeating the oath as delivered by Delaware Superior Court President Judge Jan Jurden. Surrounded by his wife and two sons and hundreds of other supporters, Denn then delivered a brief speech outlining his plans for fighting crime in Delaware, especially in Wilmington.

“This is not going to be a long speech because when it comes to this problem of violent crime in our state, there has already been a lot of talk,” Denn said.

While not setting a timetable for lowering the rate of violent crime, Denn said there is a need for urgency in making improvements. “An urgency that does not wax and wane with the prior week’s headlines. It is time to get some things done.”

One of the first things Denn wants to get done is putting more officers on the streets in Wilmington. He proposed working with leaders in Wilmington to jointly apply for $650,000 in funding from the state’s Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund. That money would fund six officers who would work foot patrol in some of Wilmington’s most dangerous neighborhoods starting in March through the end of summer.

“The crime numbers tend to go down when it’s cold out, but as soon as it starts getting warm again, they have drifted up. I would like to see the police patrols out there when we traditionally see the numbers start to go up,” said Denn.

Denn was in his second term as Lieutenant Governor when he was elected Attorney General. His ascendancy to AG means his former post will remain vacant during the final two years of his term. Prior to the lieutenant governor’s office, Denn was Delaware’s insurance commissioner. Before that, he worked as chief legal counsel for then-Governor Ruth Ann Minner. 

He takes over the AG’s office from Beau Biden who announced last spring that he would not seek a third term.

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