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Sheriff's Department Approved for Seven Additional Positions

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NEW HANOVER CTY - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved funding for seven additional Sheriff's Deputies.
The Sheriff's Office and the City of Wilmington Police Department began a collaborative effort to focus on crime in public housing communities and gang related violence. The Sheriff's office requested six new deputy positions and one new Sergeant position to be dedicated to that effort due to a recent rise in crime activity.
The budget amendment required $262,000 to fund the salaries and associated costs for the remainder of fiscally year 2013-2014. The cost for the positions for a full year in fiscal year 2014-2015 is estimated at $407,033.
Sheriff Ed McMahon said he agreed to absorb the hardware costs for those positions which includes equipment and vehicles.
McMahon explained, "This is not anything I have taken lightly. Since 2009, becoming Sheriff, we the Sheriff's office have turned back in from our budget $1,993,117.00. Nearly two million dollars we have turned back into the general fund of the County."
McMahon said, "One of the ways that we were able to do more with less money was working together. Collaborating, joining resources, and that makes us much more efficient and affective."
He said, "This morning I come to you with a community problem. There has been a rise in violent crime in recent days. The police chief, Ralph Evangelous and I, have committed to a number of different initiatives, one of which I come to you this morning asking for the seven positions. We've already started it. It's going to a unit working within the housing units. The problem that we are having is not something that can be reactionary; go in and come out. And that actually takes care of the problem for a few hours and then makes it worse. The good citizens living in these areas, they need us. They need our help. They need us to come in long term. And that's what this is about. This is a long-term solution where we are going to go in and partner with the good citizens. We are going to be building relations. Build trust.  And we are going to get the criminal element out of these areas and help keep the community safer."
McMahon said since 2009 violent crimes in the unincorporated areas of the county are down 18%.