Wilmington mayor sheds light on city’s homicide cases

The Wilmington Police Department reported a 37 percent clearance rate for homicide incidents so far this year.

According to Police Chief Bobby Cummings, that’s good news compared to the department’s 12 percent clearance rate in 2014.

As reported on WHYY’s First, the development of the police department’s first Homicide Unit nearly a year ago is attributed to the positive change. However, police admit there’s still work to be done in order to tackle crime in Wilmington.

“Through aggressive policing strategies and building strong partnerships with the community and other law enforcement agencies, the department is solving more homicides and arresting violent offenders,” said Chief Cummings who also announced a 33.53 percent increase in felony arrests involving a firearm compared to 2014.

While 2015 has seen its fair share of shooting incidents and homicides, recent numbers show that 7 of 19 homicide cases have been closed with an arrest to date. City officials shared that support from community based public safety under Mayor Dennis Williams Administration also helped. Programs such as the Police Citizen’s Advisory Council, Mayor’s Ministerial Council and Crime Reward Fund are just a few that officials say contributed to police closing 37 percent of homicide cases this year.

“While we are still working to tackle violent crime, these numbers show that if the police and community work together we can make a difference. This progress should encourage residents, who we need to remain actively engaged, to continue helping the police department prevent and solve more crimes,” Mayor Williams said.

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