Wilmington PD chief to retire, replacement coming next week

 Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings will retire next week. (File/WHYY)

Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings will retire next week. (File/WHYY)

Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings will retire from the department on April 14.

Cummings has served in the Wilmington Police Dept. for 32 years. He was named chief by former Mayor Dennis Williams in May 2014.

“I express my thanks and appreciation to Chief Cummings for his outstanding service record of service to the citizens of Wilmington,” said Mayor Mike Purzycki. He called Cummings “a true law enforcement professional who served his city with distinction.”

A walk out ceremony honoring Cummings will be held next Thursday.

Purzycki is expected to announce his new chief next week. That new chief will enjoy a big bump in pay over what Cummings earned. On Thursday, Wilmington City Council approved a measure boosting the chief’s salary by $43,000 from $117,000 to $160,000.

In February, Purzycki said Chief Cummings was competing in the nationwide search for the city’s next police chief. “We’re going to make a decision that’s best for our department wherever we go, but I feel pretty good about the way this whole exercise is going forward,” Purzycki said at the time.

The fight against crime and violence in Wilmington dominated last year’s mayoral campaign. More than three months into 2017 it remains a top concern for city leaders. In response to the violence, Purzycki launched “Operation Safe Streets” in late January. The increased law enforcement operation draws upon federal, state and county officers to supplement the city’s police presence.

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