WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington has seen three shootings in recent weeks in the Creekwood community. The Wilmington Police department doesn’t want to pin the recent crimes on gang activity or repeat offenders, but instead touched on the lack of success in community programs, they said are taking a toll on the youth.
WPD offers youth programs such as the Police Athletic League, meant to get the youth active and build community relations.
“They’re not participating in certain activities that we have in the community. It’s a long summer, it’s a hot summer," said Lt. Kelvin Hargrove. "The things that are driving the young folks are not the positive things that we have for them in the community.”
Hargrove points out that while the police are in the community to serve and protect, they do need help.
“If you see something, say something. These acts of violence don’t occur overnight, it’s a trend and I know that people in the community see these trends,” said Hargrove. "Why not say something? Why not deal with it at that point? We shouldn’t have to deal with it after the fact.”
Hargrove, a parent himself, says he understands it takes a lot to raise children and try to keep them out of trouble. But, with an old school mind, he reverts back to the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
“Being a parent and knowing that life has more to offer than the streets," said Hargorve. "They have to reach in the right spot. If it’s out there, grab it. If it’s positive, grab it. If it’s negative, you have to walk away, you have to be the bigger person.”