New investigative unit to tackle Wilmington's gun violence

By Amy Cherry 11:34am, August 13, 2014
VIDEO: Gov. Markell talks about a new crime-fighting iniative for Wilmington.
On the heels of a violent night on the streets of Wilmington, law enforcement will getting a new tool to fight crime.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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"The wave of shootings we've seen in Wilmington is heartbreaking and is clearly unacceptable."

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That's why Governor Markell is announcing the creation of a new gun investigation unit between state, county, and Wilmington police.

The unit is a team of five full-time staff, including a representative from each police force, an intelligence analyst, and an agent from the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms department (ATF) that's paid for through $265,000 from the state budget.

The team will be tasked with deeply investigating the gun violence that plagues Wilmington.

"Working to prevent and uncover straw purchases, weapons trafficking, and all illegal sales," said Markell.

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Markell says it's critical that unit trace the source of illegal weapons and punish those responsible.

State prosecutor Kathy Jennings says the officers will use intelligence to find the answers to valuable questions that plague Wilmington..

"Where are these guns coming from? How does a 14-year-old boy get a gun? How does an eight-year-old child get a gun?" she asked.

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Mayor Williams is grateful for the joint crime-fighting effort.

"A united front fighting crime is the way to go. Wilmington too long has been carrying the load by itself. Together, we can lick this thing," he said.

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