As of today, there were 137 incidents of gun violence in Wilmington (not quite 11 months into the year) which surpasses last year’s incident total of 119. Deaths as a result of gun violence (see the NJ article) is down (14 homicides vs 25 — 15 vs 25 as of Sunday) from last year though. We’ve seen lots of reports of armed robberies, which seem to be up (but no data) and if there was any confidence in the Williams’ Administration’s ability to get a handle on Wilmington’s violent crime problem, that confidence is now waning. Alot. Sunday, the 136th victim of gun violence was shot at 7th and Washington. Just a few blocks away from the Market St patrols that manage panhandlers. Also on Sunday, the 137th victim of gun violence was shot at 24th and Washington.
I don’t even know what to say any more. I do know that this Mayor promised major reductions in crime after 6 months and after 2 years, you wouldn’t recognize Wilmington any more it would be so safe. None of that seems to be on track. And while the Mayor has started talking like Jim Baker regarding the city’s crime, he doesn’t seem ready to ask for help or to rethink whatever strategies they are working on. This *is* a larger problem than policing can solve — and we talked about a great many good ideas here. More good discussion and ideas were here — including some interesting data on the results of more data-driven deployments and fairly major reduction homicides this year in Philly.
So what’s next? I’m going to still keep asking for better practices for policing, including Community Policing, even if it is in just a few troubled areas. Not being able to come to grips with the city’s violence is a real disservice to the people who work pretty hard create events and opportunities for folks to visit. Not being able to come to grips with the city’s violence isn’t a good strategy for keeping homeowners from deciding to rent out their city homes and live elsewhere. But I have no doubt that they don’t know what to do at this point and aren’t going to reach for any better solutions — unless residents really push for this.