The New Castle County Police Department announced on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, the purchase of 18 portable cameras that will be used to keep an eye on crime hot spots while also aiding in ongoing investigations.
State Senator Darius Brown (D - 2nd) provided $100,000 from his Community Transportation Fund allotment in conjunction with State Representative Frank Cooke, to pay for the cameras which are expected to be deployed in areas such as Edgemoor and the Route 9 corridor.
"Our constituents—no matter if it's a state road or a county road—what they want is for us to be responsive and solve the problems and issues they've called us to address," said Brown.
New Castle County Police Chief Col. Vaughn Bond, Jr. said there is no doubt cameras are effective.
"It is well known to us that cameras play an integral part in terms of preventing crime and also solving crime," said Bond.
"We have had some cameras at our disposal here in New Castle County, however, with the geographical responsibilities that we have, we have a need for more."
Police said some of the cameras may be visible while others will be hidden from view.
Former police officer, and now, 16th District State Representative Frank Cooke, applauded the purchase, but insisted they still want and need community input.
"It takes the community, it still does," said Cooke. "Just because we get cameras, we still need the community. If you hear something, say something. If you see something, say something."
New Castle County Councilman Jea Street said the cameras will be a deterrent.
"These cameras, in my opinion, will be a major asset," said Street. "They don't have to talk, they can just take the pictures."
In light of a quadruple shooting in Wilmington's Southbridge section Wednesday afternoon in which three women between the ages of 48 and 55 were hit, Street voiced his exasperation with what's happening on the streets.
"I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired," said Street. "These children and these guns are out of control. All this foolishness has to stop.
"Once upon a time there was honor—even among thieves, criminals and gangs. Women were off limits, children were off limits, Sundays were off limits, holidays were off limits. Now they don't care," said Street.
He believes the cameras will also help clear more shooting incidents in the future.
"Our clearance rate is not good. I think it will enhance it," said Street.