LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dover working hard to combat gang violence

On Wednesday, May 18, a meeting was held at Dover City Hall regarding “Gangs and Crime in our City.” Many people attended the meeting and voiced opinions and suggested solutions.

Their presence was greatly appreciated. As mayor, I informed those present of our current strategies working with the Delaware State Police and other agencies that are partners with our own Dover Police Department. I would like to thank Lt. Chad Bernat and Cpl. Chris Bumgarner for the information they shared. It was important that the public be aware that Dover PD is on the job with intelligence-gathering of gang activity in our city and cessation.

Mayor Robin Christiansen

Mayor Robin Christiansen

What is more important is that our citizens know that we have an educational program working to eliminate gang memberships and related violence. The GREAT Program (Gang Resistance Education And Training) has been integrated into the school curriculum over the past couple of years and is quite successful.

Likewise, through the efforts of Attorney General Matt Denn, [state] Sen. Brian Bushweller, the Joint Finance Committee, Chief Paul Bernat and myself, the Dover Police Department secured $580,000 to place a greater emphasis on Community Policing and increased foot patrols throughout the city. This is a proven strategy that prevents gang activity while restoring trust amongst the citizens we serve.

A new PAL (Police Athletic league) program has begun. We continue to partner with multiple community organizations to focus young minds in the right direction and emphasis on positive endeavors. It is my hope that, after all the photo ops and impassioned discussion, the citizens of Dover, Kent County and the state of Delaware, as well as our entire nation — Step up, step forward and join the fight to discourage the gangs and drugs that threaten to destroy our youth and the very foundation of our nation.

Now is the time. Do not let the momentum and passion to help fade without doing your part to keep control of our communities.

Robin Christiansen
Mayor of Dover

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