On Monday, June 1, 2015, Chief of Police Bobby L. Cummings, joined by Mayor Dennis P. Williams, announced a comprehensive strategic public safety plan that proposes the reorganization of the Wilmington Police Department to concentrate on four specific branches of policing, and creates four new positions; an Inspector of Strategic Planning and Development, an Inspector of Support Services positions, a Chief Information Officer and a Director of Communications.
- Full Announcement of the WPD Comprehensive Public Safety Plan
- WPD Comprehensive Public Safety Plan PowerPoint Presentation
The plan also adds 12 officers to the Homicide/Violent Crimes Unit, dedicates 25 officers to community policing efforts throughout the three-sector deployment and implements 83 percent of the recommendations from the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission Report.
Through the public safety plan, the Wilmington Police Department will expand the current two-branch organization into a four-branch policing structure concentrating on strategic planning, support services, operations and investigation. The Department looks to more efficiently manage and implement violence reduction strategies, data analysis tactics and community policing efforts. Executive Staff Offices, specifically Inspectors, will directly manage each of the four branches.
New Organizational Structure
Proposed Inspector of Strategic Planning and Development will be responsible for developing and implementing all crime control initiatives, ensuring coordination and accountability for crime reduction strategies and continuing the development of Targeted Analytical Policing Systems (T.A.P.S.) and Complaint Statistics (CompStat).
The proposed Inspector of Support Services will oversee the special operations division, radio communications, DELJIS system management, school resource officers and crisis management.
The Inspector of Operations would manage all patrol functions, including the three-sector deployment, and also work to implement community policing efforts throughout every sector.
The Inspector of Investigation will supervise the Criminal Investigation Division, which includes the Homicide/Violent Crimes Unit, Victims Services Unit, and the Cold Case Unit. The Inspector of Investigation will also oversee Operation Safe Streets, the Vice Squad, and task force participation with federal and state law enforcement agencies.
Key Public Safety Plan Strategic Initiatives
- Implementation of the New World Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, which was initially installed in March of 2015, will enable the department to map and track the position and movement of each police car. Sector captains will have a mobile version of the CAD system, Crime View and ShotSpotter software on their laptops and desk tops, which will enable Executive Officers to direct department resources toward proactive patrols.
- With the assistance of the Violence Reduction Network, the Wilmington Police Department scheduled all officers to participate in the Blue Courage Training to build community-policing principles throughout the entire department.
- The Wilmington Police Department is working with the Violence Reduction Network to unify all of the Department’s crime analysis data and to assess the feasibility of creating a Real Time Crime Center.
- An officer will be assigned to the Wilmington Police Athletic League and the William Hicks Anderson Community Center, which will strengthen relationships between the police and local children and their families. The officers will work with the community to identify problems and create a safe haven for youths.
“Policing is most effective when the officers are working with the community and not strictly policing it,” said Chief Cummings. “This public safety plan places a strong emphasis on strengthening relationships with the community, while also creating a more efficient organizational structure within the department, implementing crime data analysis initiatives, and expanding pivotal units like the Homicide/ Violent Crimes Unit and Community Policing Unit. These efforts will work toward building safe and strong neighborhoods.”