Blueprint to Improve Public Safety in New Castle County

Read the complete Public Safety in New Castle County policy by clicking here. (.pdf)

Public safety is critical to everything our county does. First and foremost, we must do everything to make sure our county is a safe and secure place for families to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, violent crime in our county today is at record levels. And we are spending as much as we have ever spent on public safety.

Our county police does an outstanding job and often an extraordinary job. As the equipment and technology of policing have changed, the county police department continues to grow and change in ways that make us safer. We will continue to push for the finest equipment and technology so that we all can be safe.

But when 14 and 15 year old children are shooting guns at each other, we cannot blame the police. We are at risk of losing an entire generation of children to crime, violence and drugs, in certain neighborhoods of Wilmington, New Castle, Bear and across our county. We need a comprehensive community response, a smarter understanding of those who seek to turn certain neighborhoods in our county into centers of violence. And we need to develop policy that ultimately provides the perpetrators of violence alternatives to violence. This must be a collaborative and comprehensive effort, focused on providing intensive educational, spiritual, psychological, career training support to those with the highest risk characteristics.

This violence produces immeasurable suffering among victims’ families. The violence causes intensive and often irreversible trauma among extended families, neighbors and community. The violence strains government and non-profit resources and, in a competitive national and global marketplace, forces us to disproportionately direct resources to fighting crime. And the violence has a chilling effect on business, driving jobs and tax revenue out of our largest city and out of state.

We can do better. As this policy proposal details, with early identification of high risk individuals, creative engagement for those at the highest risk, improved police-community relations, serious career opportunities for those with criminal records, the Age Zero Initiative and better inter-governmental collaboration, we will begin to reverse the spike in shootings and homicides across our county and create safer neighborhoods to live, work and raise a family.