Delaware Governor John Carney hears from a resident during a town hall on February 19, 2020

Delaware Governor John Carney hears from a resident during a town hall on February 19, 2020

Delaware Governor John Carney focused on violence and schools during a Wilmington stop on his post-State of the State Town Hall tour.

Carney, who emphasized to the crowd of about 50 people at Delaware Tech's Wilmington Campus that he is a resident of the city, spoke about Wilmington's gun violence problems, on the same night of a reported triple shooting on the city's East Side.

He said trying to break up "groups or gangs" is crucial to success of making Wilmington safer.

"We've adopted a strategy that says--let's focus our law enforcement efforts on this very small population, a couple hundred people may be involved in the different groups. Let's give them a choice, you can choose to change and get out or not. Some those not to get out because they're traumatized and fearful for their own safety, which is why they'll carry weapons, and the challenge is to get everyone to put their guns down."

Carney added that any plan to cut the violence in Wilmington has to start early in life as students are working their way through school.

"You can't do any of this if we're not successful with our efforts to educate all of the children. This starts with the inability of children to be successful in school, and then they fall behind and find different ways--that's universal, not just in the city of Wilmington."

Wilmington has not seen a brand new school building in 50 years, and Carney pointed out there needs to be more investment in a city that does not have a traditional public high school within its borders.

He cited going to the city's East Side, specially mentioning 8th and Lombard streets--just two blocks from the triple shooting an hour earlier--and finding out that one student had 'choiced' into the Appoquinimink School District--below the canal--instead of choosing to go to Bancroft, which was visible from the child's house.

"It takes more than just buildings to get that kind of a result. It's why instead of spending $30 million to reconstruct Bancroft; we're going to try to spend $50 million to build a brand new school because the children will find pride in that, and we'll be able to attract additional teachers and students to that school."

Other issues brought up during the hour-long session included the rising costs of rent, health care, and the environment.