Today it was announced that multiple government agencies are collaborating to prevent gun-violence in Wilmington. This initiative includes two $50,000 grants from the Criminal Justice Council meant to facilitate better communication between law enforcement agencies, and to support extended programming in local community centers.
This announcement could not come at a time of greater need for Wilmington – 2012 has been particularly violent, and this weekend saw one of the city’s most horrendous outbursts of deadly gun crime. A shootout at a soccer tournament claimed three lives- tournament participant Alexander Kamara, 16, tournament organizer Herman Curry, 47, and one of the alleged gunmen Sheldon Olge, 43- and wounded two others.
Community outrage followed this weekend. Herman Holloway, the director of the King Center, accused Mayor Baker of not paying enough attention to the epidemic of violence in the city, and called on him to step down.
However, now government leaders are joining community and religious leaders in identifying the problem, and working to fix it. In June, religious leaders announced a “State of Spiritual Emergency”
It is doubtful that any single aspect of these programs can reduce gun violence in Wilmington, but with collaboration between law makers, law enforcement, community and religious leaders, social workers, and families across the city, there is hope for less bloodshed over the second half of 2012.