WPD publishes annual report for 2017
"Serving one generation at a time"
I begin this years' annual report by sharing the story of two year old Mason Richardson. Mason died more than a year ago after a man high on heroin crashed his full-sized pickup truck into the back of the car he was riding in. Mason and his family are like so many today - innocent victims in this opioid epidemic that continues to plague our nation. Because of opioid abuse the face of policing in Wilmington has changed and the duties of our officers have expanded.
In 2017, our officers responded to 560 overdose calls and made more than 973 drug arrests. We
armed our officers with naloxone and implemented the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD)
program. A pre-arrest program that utilizes officer discretion to divert low level drug offenders and
sex workers from the criminal justice system.
And while meeting those challenges we continued to maintain lower crime numbers overall
throughout the year. We expanded and created new programs for our youth like the Port City Super
Girls Academy, a four day violence prevention camp for girls 12 to 18 years of age. More than 54
girls attended the overnight event. We increased our social media presence , participated in a series of community dialogues and armed our officers with the latest equipment and training in
preparation for threats that touch our nation.
This report is dedicated to the memory of little Mason and the men and women of the Wilmington
Police Department who fight the good fight daily.
Chief of Police
Ralph M. Evangelous