The Wilmington Police Department divides its patrols into districts based on call volume. The more calls, the smaller the district. The Wilmington Walmart falls into District 5a, the busiest district in the city.
“Compared to other businesses that may close at 5 or 9 or 10, they’re 24-7. A lot of our calls are either in their parking lot of Walmart, or inside the store itself,” said Wilmington Police Department’s Lt. Kathy Cochran.
In the past 6 months the department has responded to more than 600 calls. That is about 3 to 4 calls each day, and officers never know what crime they’re going to get.
“A shoplifter, larceny in progress, we have 911 hang up. We’ve had child abuse calls out there, hit and run calls out there, warrant services out there,” said Lt. Cochran. “You name it we’ve had a lot of calls in that vicinity.”
In Monkey Junction, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department responds to the Walmart on Carolina Beach Road about 2 to 3 times per day.
Deputy Charles Smith said, “It certainly consumes the deputies time, in taking an initial report, or the number of reports from that outlet as well as following up with an arrest and transportation to the jail.”
With the upcoming annexation, the Monkey Junction Walmart will also become WPD’s responsibility. The department plans on adding five new officers to help patrol the area.
As for Walmart, law enforcement said the employees do what they can to help.
“In most cases when deputies respond, the loss prevention officers have their information that will assist in the prosecution of those crimes ready for the deputies upon arrival,” added Deputy Smith.