Wilmington, NC – Mayoral candidates gathered for an election forum last night at WHQR where media panelists and audience members asked the candidates questions on a variety of issues. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that public safety downtown was a large topic of debate.
Incumbent Mayor Bill Saffo says the city council has done everything it can to hold the line on public safety in the face of tight budgets. He says the police department is doing a good job.
"We have had a 26 percent decrease in part 1 crime since 2002 with 33 percent increase in population here. We have had a 19 percent decrease in violent crimes since last year. This has been a collaborative effort on the North Carolina ABC Commission, with our police department creating the downtown district, in addition to the City Council passing the late-night task force recommendations. So, it's been a collaborative effort on a lot of different fronts."
Candidate Justin LaNasa disagreed with Saffo by saying the city administration provides poor leadership and guidance to the police department. LaNasa says his four years of law enforcement experience will help provide this support.
Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.