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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Crews are expected to install a 4,000 watt light to an existing poll in the parking lot near the Community Arts Center in downtown Wilmington.
This moves comes on the heels of the recent shooting death of Joshua Proutey, 19. The teen was shot and killed while walking to his car after work, which was parked in the lot.
The City of Wilmington purchased the parking lot three years ago and added lights. According to a spokesperson for the city, workers with Lanier Parking had been evaluating the area to see if more lights were needed.
According to city staff, the light will be installed in three weeks and will face Second Street.
Also in response to Proutey's death, Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous also wants to develop a mobile police force to target the areas where fear of crime.
The idea is to designate a dozen officers, using the seven they have now and adding five more. They would be split into two teams – six in uniform and six undercover.
Those officers would work random schedules in the areas that need a police presence the most.
"The majority of the people we end up arresting are repeat offenders so they are a big piece of this and part of their duties will be to focus on these repeat offenders," said Chief Evangelous.
He said the teams would keep a close eye on those criminals who leave jail to help track where they may go in the city.
The total cost for new officers and cars would be close to $465,000. City council members will have to approve the plan before it goes into place.
Regardless, Evangelous reminds residents to call authorities immediately if they see anything suspicious anywhere.
A common misconception is that downtown Wilmington sees the most violence, but in fact District 5, near the university and many commercial corridors sees the most violence.
Violent crimes are those described as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults where the victim is seriously injured.
The number of violent crimes as a whole have decreased in the Wilmington area. According to statistics, violent crime numbers for Wilmington came in at 847 in 2004. More than seven years later, 2012 marks the lowest violent crime numbers coming in at 602.
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