Williams talks public safety, budget in inaugural address

By Tom Lehman 2:17am, January 9, 2013 - Updated 10:47am, January 9, 2013
Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams gives his inaugural address.
Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams laid out his administration's goals for the next four years during last night's inaugural address.

WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.

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Williams, who gave his address during Wilmington City Council's organizational meeting, said addressing the city's high level of violent crime will be a major challenge, but one his administration hopes to solve.

"We have a gun problem in this city that's beyond reproach. We have a homicide in this city's that's beyond reproach," Williams says.

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The incoming mayor reiterated a campaign promise that he wouldn't be soft on criminals and would bring a tougher approach to dealing with the city's crime.

"We will go after violent offenders with everything that we have, we will reform the Wilmington police department, we will aggressively target violent areas," he says.

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Williams also says he'll take a hard look at the Wilmington's finances and contracts to cut costs and alleviate the city's budgetary woes.

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"We will look at some of the things that have been privatized...we will bring them back in house, we'll save money," he says.

In addition, he says he'll also revisit contracts signed with those based outside of Delaware.

"We will look at eliminating contracts where we have out of state people doing our booting, which we have people in this city who can do that job," he says.

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Williams also believes creating more learning and recreational opportunities for the city's youth will keep them away from turning to crime.

The former State Rep. also says he'll reach out to Gov. Markell and colleagues from the state legislature for assistance with his goals.

The address concluded a busy 60th birthday for Williams, who was sworn into office earlier in the day.

He succeeds Jim Baker, Wilmington's only three-term mayor.

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