New Hanover County, NC – New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Beth Dawson outlined the County’s efforts to support public safety at today’s joint media event that included Mayor Bill Saffo, District Attorney Ben David, Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous, and New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon.
New Hanover County is continuing to invest its resources across a full spectrum of programs targeting prevention and intervention aimed at keeping our community safe.
“Public Safety continues to remain the County’s highest priority,” said Dawson, “while law enforcement is on the front lines, the County is a partner in every phase of addressing this threat to our community.”
NHC has increased funding to the Sheriff’s Office in efforts to focus on gang intervention with dedicated staff and office space. The County has also implemented innovative programs – focusing on both the long and short term – aimed at preventing our community’s youth from turning to gangs. Last fall, the County “Doubled the Impact” for funding evidenced-based programs in our Youth Empowerment Services including expanding Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies and Too Good for Violence programs.
The County has also partnered with community groups targeted at helping at-risk youth engage in pathways for success, such as Dreams, Kids Making It, the Blue Ribbon Commission, and One Love Tennis.
Funding support for school-based mental health staff has been increased to help identify and offer treatment to youth in need. Additionally, the County has increased funding for Trillium Health Resources to focus on mental health disorders and addiction; and has developed a long-term partnership with Trillium, Coastal Horizons and LINC, Inc., to address many of these issues.
The County is partnering with the school system and other community agencies to share responsibility for school safety and promote safe learning environments through the Inter-Agency Governance Agreement on the Handling of School Offenses. The goal of this partnership is to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
“This is a community problem and, as a community, we are responding” Dawson said. “Alone, not one of these initiatives will solve the problems we are facing in our community. Collectively, however, by collaborating and combining resources, we can help our community’s youth find pathways for success, ending the senseless tragedies, and we will make an impact.”
Click here for pictures from the Youth Violence Prevention News Conference .
Communications & Outreach Coordinator
New Hanover County