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Chief says WPD made a mistake handing over 2013 deputy shooting investigation to Sheriff’s dept.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In a convention today between local religious leaders and the wilmington police department, Chief Ralph Evangelous said there were many lessons learned, one of those involving future practices for incidents like last year’s deputy shooting.

Last year, an act of violence interrupted a conference of peace. The shooting of a Sheriff’s deputy in the Creekwood neighborhood was among dozens of violent acts Wilmington law enforcement faced last year.

“We had crisis after crisis after crisis,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. “We didn’t have time to breathe.”

A slideshow in Evangelous’ presentation indicated from Jan. 2013 – Jan. 2014 they faced 52 days of violence by gang members, teaching them many lessons.

One of these lessons — Chief Evangelous says they made a mistake giving deputy shooting investigation to the Sheriff’s Department.

“In retrospect, do not hand over an investigation,” Evangelous said. “It’s not a good deal because we have to manage that public housing area after they’re gone.”

After the session we asked him about his comment, but he would not explain it further.
Following the interview, the Chief caught up with the Sheriff on the phone and was then able to answer some questions.

“The sheriff and I have come to the agreement that if one of our officers gets hurt, that the other agency will investigate it,” Evangelous said.

In response to the chief’s comment Sheriff Ed McMahon released a statement saying:

“There was a dangerous violent criminal in our community and we all worked together to apprehend him. We have partnered with the Wilmington Police Department in a housing task force and we are working with those good citizens, building relationships of trust and confidence. Although we may not always agree, the police chief and I are committed to continue to work together keeping our community as safe as possible.”

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