Wilmington Police Chief Trained, Certified, and Officially Sworn In

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    After more than six months of working as Wilmington Police Chief, Bob Tracy has been officially sworn in, according to WHYY.org.

    After completing training and receiving his certification from the Delaware Council on Police Training, Tracy was finally able to don his Wilmington Police uniform, which he said “couldn’t be more of an honor.”

    “It’s really important to really be all the way in, be in uniform, be a sworn police officer in the state of Delaware, and putting this uniform on,” he said.

    Since Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki appointed Tracy, Tracy noted that he’s seen some progress in the ways officers are interacting with Wilmington residents when they’re not responding to calls for service.

    “We’re getting better at engaging in the community, that’s how we’re going to have success. Community engagement is something we get away from because of technology,” Tracy said after receiving his badge.

    Tracy has an extensive history of police work, and prior to starting his position in Wilmington, he worked with the Chicago Police Department and served five years as deputy chief of crime strategies. During Tracy’s tenure between 2011 and 2016, the mayor announced that Chicago had experienced its lowest murder rates in 50 years and the lowest overall crime rate since 1972.

    Wilmington’s crime rates, however, have been consistently high for years. WHYY.org notes that Wilmington has seen a minimum of 184 shootings, 29 of which were fatal.

    Of course, crime rates against police officers have also remained high: FBI data shows that 66 law enforcement officers across the U.S. were criminally killed in the line of duty in 2016.

    Still, Tracy feels confident in his — and the Wilmington Police Department’s — ability to make a difference.

    “I know some of the things that have worked in the past with evidence-based policing, with intelligence-led policing, with fair and impartial policing … these are things working with everybody in this room and working with the community that we can make a difference,” Tracy said.

    Another issue across the nation continues to be driving under the influence, especially during the holidays. Each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested. Tracy says he’s witnessed the reduction in these types of crimes in areas that seemed irreparable, particularly in New York City, thanks to the types of police work mentioned above.

    Tracy said he witnessed “a crime reduction over 98% in every single crime category, and that didn’t happen by accident,” attributing the cause to “business management principles applied to police work.”

    Ultimately, using some of these modern police work practices, Tracy hopes that he and the Wilmington Police Department can reduce violent crime and continue to make the streets safer for all Wilmington residents.