Public Safety

We’ll evaluate the manner in which the Public Safety services and resources have been deployed and allocated in the County.  Crime continues to rise and, frankly, our public safety professionals are stretched too thin. We need to leverage technology even more to provide our Public Safety forces with better, real-time data and help them provide better coverage for all citizens.

Did you know that for every dollar ($1.00) that New Castle County collects in taxes, Sixty-three cents ($0.63) is spent for our County Public Safety Services? We need to make sure that our first responders have the right tools to perform their jobs and keep safe while doing it and we need to have better cost controls in place to make sure that taxpayers are getting the most for their tax dollars. This is the largest expense for NCC taxpayers and in order to keep our world-class public safety services, we must look for ways to cut costs out of County Government operations across all areas and not cut our Police and Paramedic forces.

This is not the time to be cutting the public safety staffing levels for either our Paramedic or Police force. With properly trained and equipped paramedic and police officers at the required staffing levels, will allow our men and women to be  more efficient and provide timely emergency response.  In addition to having adequate coverage, our first responders must be given every advantage that helps them arrive as quickly as possible, to every emergency situation throughout the County. In that regard, the time has come to look at new options for deploying both police and paramedics at satellite stations around NCC to shorten response times and help address crime.

Currently, only the County and State Police “share” the 911 call center in New Castle County and the City of Wilmington still operates their own, separate 911 call center.  If additional support is needed by any of these Police agencies, 911 operators have to place a phone call to the Wilmington 911 center to request assistance!  Even with the County’s 911 center, operators have to literally stand up and verbally ask the State Police call center folks if they have an available officer/cruiser to back up a County Police, when needed.  I propose that all of the 911 operations be integrated electronically so that ALL police vehicles are shown on the computer screens coded by agency and color code (Red = unavailable; Green = available) so that in the event of a serious life threatening crime in progress (armed home intrusion, armed robbery of a business, etc.) the nearest, available police officer can be dispatched ASAP!  Do you really care which police officer shows up when you’re in fear for your life?  This is how many other State and municipal governments operate their 911 call centers and emergency services – why isn’t that how we operate our 911 service here in NCC?

We’ll use an outside professional evaluation to generate a detailed proposal which will become the blueprint and action plan for improvements.  The plan will meet the needs of the people and outline the actions needed to improve the County’s overall Public Safety resources, deployment and responsiveness.  By focusing on the long-term issues and requirements, we can improve the services offered and have the most efficient and effective coverage for New Castle County.