Ten state troopers will begin patrols in partnership with Wilmington Police as part of the effort to curb gun violence and crime in Delaware’s largest city.
The state and city’s top leaders gathered Tuesday in Wilmington to announce details of the crime fighting effort which is scheduled to start this weekend. The cooperative effort between State Police and Wilmington Police will be led by Wilmington Chief Michael Szczerba. The troopers will be working in areas targeted for enforcement by Wilmington Police leadership. “This will be State Troopers coming in, under supervision, but it will be under my guidance and in a cooperative effort,” says Szczerba.
Governor Jack Markell (D) says the Wilmington effort is not a temporary fix, or a short-term partnership. “We have no illusions that this task is going to be easy, or that it’s results are will be immediately visible. This is not a quick strike, one hit and we are done.”
Mayor Baker has long called for the city’s crime problems to be addressed by a wider group than just the city’s police force. “It’s great to have everybody on the same page, trying to work together, and looking at it long term,” says Baker. That’s why Operation: Pressure Point includes members of the State Department of Health and Social Services as well as Delaware’s Children’s Department. “Violent crime affects every aspect of society. Kids don’t learn as well, businesses don’t grow as fast, and communities don’t thrive in places where the fear of crime flourishes.”
Attorney General Beau Biden is taking part in the effort as well. He is creating a Wilmington unit with his office to work with police on Wilmington cases from the very beginning. “We need to get back to a place where a deputy attorney general, a prosecutor and a police officer are working real time at the early possible point on any given case. This allows that marriage to be even stronger.”
The initial phase of the state/city partnership is expected to last a year, but could be extended.