Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Chief of Police Robert J. Tracy on Tuesday announced a decline in crime rates, suggesting new strategies may be paying off.
Some positive trends include a 22 percent drop in violent crime, 63 percent drop in gun homicides, 61 percent drop in shootings, and an eight percent drop in overall crime compared to the same year-to-date period in 2017.
Mayor Purzycki hired Chief Tracy — an expert in using data to fight crime — on April 14, 2017 with the expectation that his leadership would lead to improvement. He attributes the success so far to a combination improved community engagement, intelligence-led policing and directed patrols.
“Neither the Chief nor I know whether these improving numbers will continue throughout the year,” Purzycki said. “But it is encouraging to know that the WPD’s new emphasis on community engagement, intelligence-led policing, directed patrols and instituting the CompStat methodology are producing better results than we have seen in the past few years.”
2018 so far:
Six gun homicides, compared to 16 by this time last year
25 shooting incidents, compared to 64 in 2017
43 shooting victims, compared to 70 in 2017
a total of nine homicides
“The men and woman of the WPD have responded well to a redefined command structure and different policing techniques that, when combined, are beginning to change the culture of the Department and its approach to policing in Wilmington,” said Chief Tracy. “We operate every day as though our most important asset is the community. We’ve worked hard to win the trust of citizens and to keep that trust. We will continue to actively seek their assistance in curbing crime, which we feel is a huge factor as to why crime trends are moving in the right direction.”