Gang violence crackdown will cost more than first thought - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Gang violence crackdown will cost more than first thought

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Local leaders announced the joint effort last month. Local leaders announced the joint effort last month.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A combined effort to combat gang violence in New Hanover County may end up costing taxpayers more than first thought.

Last month, the city of Wilmington and New Hanover County announced a joint effort to crack down on the increase in violence among gangs. The patrols would include an enhanced unit for the public housing committees, consisting of seven members of the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office.

At the time of the announcement in October, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White told the enhanced effort would not cost more for taxpayers.

"He (Sheriff Ed McMahon) has room within his budget to do this," said Woody White at the October announcement.

However, on Monday, the Board of Commissioners plan to hold their regular meeting and there is a request for an additional $262,000 for the sheriff's budget this year to hire six new deputy positions and a new sergeant position. The cost of those positions over a full year will come to $407,033.

County staff is recommending approval of the sheriff's request.

On Thursday, White spoke to WECT at the commissioners' agenda briefing about the subject.

"I have not polled the other commissioners on this,"said White.  "I do think that we all agree with the sheriff that there has been an uptick (on crime) and the question really is would this request be coming to us but for the shooting with the deputy?"

White said he expects the commissioners to take action regarding this issue at their meeting on Monday.

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