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Wilmington Police say violent crime rates are down; ask for new firearms

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At Monday's agenda briefing, Wilmington City Council heard an update on the violent crime statistics for the city. And it also heard why the police department wants new firearms.

At the City Council agenda meeting on Oct. 4, Police Chief Donny Williams told the city council that violent crimes are actually down in the first nine months of this year. That’s despite nationwide trends in the opposite direction.

“At this point last year, we had approximately 15 murders resulting from 15 individual cases,” Williams said. “As of today, the first nine months of this year, we have a total of seven homicides resulting from five cases.” Property crime is up slightly, he added.

But the police were at council not to share an update, but to ask for permission to replace their Glock 17 Gen 4 handguns, first acquired in 2016, with an updated model: the Gen 5.

Officer Mat Ingram gave a video presentation explaining the benefits of the new model, including a modern sighting system which will help officers fire more accurately in the field. It also comes with an attached flashlight.

With credit for trade-ins, the total cost of the replacements will be more than $33,000. Council will vote on that resolution at its regular council meeting, as part of the consent agenda.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article said the police department is replacing the Glock 17 Gen 4 with the Glock 17 Gen 7. It's actually Gen 5.