Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington Police Department has announced plans to station officers in both of the high schools in the city.
New Hanover County's Sheriff's Department already has officers in all of the county's high schools. The new police personnel would assist the School Resource Officers at Hoggard and New Hanover High Schools during security situations.
Two other officers would rotate between the five middle schools in the city.
But Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says the plan has a bigger goal than simply increasing law enforcement in the schools. Instead, the officers can also "develop relationships and rapport with these kids on a positive level to help generate information in our neighborhoods."
The police department plans to ask the Wilmington City Council for added funding to hire four new officers to police the schools.
Chief Evangelous says both New Hanover County Sheriff Sid Causey and Superintendent Al Lerch support to the plan.
The idea of creating a WPD presence in the schools was discussed by the City Council in one of their budget work sessions last spring. Evangelous says the city used to have a similar program, but that it ended a decade ago.
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