Promotional ceremony held for New Castle County police chief [video]

Nearly four months after being named chief of the New Castle County Police Department, a formal promotional ceremony was held to recognize Colonel Elmer M. Setting.

Tom Gordon, New Castle County executive and former police chief appointed Setting as chief in February.

During the ceremony, he recalled the day he decided to bring Setting into the force.

“As a young chief, in 1989 I had the ability to sit down at my kitchen table and I remember going through his profile,” said Gordon. “It was one of the most unique and interesting profiles and one of the most qualified people that had been in my first class and I was able to select him.”

Setting has spent more than two decades with the department and has served in a number of different capacities starting as a patrol officer and working his way up to police captain in 2004 and commander of the Uniform Patrol Section in 2011. He also oversaw both the mounted patrol unit and the K-9 unit and developed the department’s first Special Operations Section to combat crime.

In just a few months as chief, Setting has already put a dent in crime in the county by implementing the Targeted Analytic Policing System program which helps the department predict where crimes are most likely to happen. Since that implementation, crime rates have dropped 14 percent in the county.

Setting said that’s just the beginning of what he plans to accomplish as chief.

“As far as my vision of the agency, there is so much I want to do,” he said. “The predictive policing piece is not the finish line. The future is the finish line. We’re going to go to the next level, we’re going target the number one crime in New Castle County which is property crime. And when we get our hands around property crime which run by the drug trade, we’re going to drive those people out of this county and crime is going to drop again, and that much is a promise from me that even though we are having success from this predictive policing, we cannot, we will not go back to the old way.”

During the ceremony, Setting also announced the promotions of more than a dozen officers and thanked county leaders for investing in the department.

“We both believe in investing in the future, we believe that cutting public safety leads to more crime, more crime leads to less people wanting to live here and less people wanting to be a part of this community,” said Setting. “We pay our taxes and we expect the basic fundamental services; your schools, your sewers and public safety. When we start cutting in to those varying areas, you loose a sense of community.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.