Del. State Lawmakers Approve Money to Combat Dover Violence - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. State Lawmakers Approve Money to Combat Dover Violence

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Dover has had seven homicides in 2015 Dover has had seven homicides in 2015

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - As Dover's deadliest year on record comes to a close, Delaware's attorney general and state lawmakers are making moves to stop 2016 from being more of the same.

Dover has had seven homicides so far in 2015, and the year isn't over. Dover's population is about 37,000 people.

Attorney General Matt Denn pointed out to lawmakers as they discussed the extra police funding that makes the city's homicide per capita rate this year higher than that of huge metros, like Chicago and Philadelphia.

Delaware's budget-writing committee has approved a plan from Denn to put two million dollars toward combating gun violence in Wilmington and Dover. The Joint Finance Committee, outside of the regular legislative session, gave the thumbs up for Denn to use $600,000 for Dover and $1.4 million for Wilmington.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen says that money will go to increasing foot patrols, keeping the street crimes unit, extending the cadet program, placing more cameras around and growing community policing. Christiansen says community policing and foot patrols are most important.

"A visual police presence and people not knowing where these foot patrols are going to show up will act as a deterrent," the mayor said.

All of this comes in addition to other recent moves by Dover itself, like creating the cadet program for downtown and adding funding to hire 10 more officers. 

"The need for some assistance in Dover so they could go beyond what they themselves had already done was very evident," said Sen. Brian Bushweller, D-Dover, a member of JFC.

"We're putting a band-aid on this. But we plan on suturing it up," Mayor Christiansen said.

This is one-time money. Dover plans to spread its use out across at least a year. It comes from part of settlements with Bank of America and Citigroup.

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