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Politics & Government

JFC co-chair seeks Gov. Markell's help on Wilmington police funding

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State lawmakers are trying to loop in the governor to end a months-long feud between the legislature and the mayor of Delaware’s largest city.

The dust up is over strings attached to grant money to help tamp down violence on Wilmington’s streets.

Last winter, the Joint Finance Committee set aside $1.5 million to help fund more police foot patrols and help make headway toward stemming the flurry of gun violence in Wilmington.

City of Dover officials gladly accepted a similar $600,000 grant, but Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams (D) balked at signing off on the plan.

That’s because JFC required proving the city was implementing policy recommendations from a state-funded commission and disclosing statistics to show targeted policing was driving down crime.

Last week, JFC co-chair Sen. Harris McDowell (D-Wilmington North) said he’s been speaking to Gov. Jack Markell (D-Delaware)  about a coordinated effort to convince Williams to take the money.

McDowell said, “Now that it’s heating up and the bullets are flying, I’m hoping he will sign the conditions.”

A Markell spokeswoman says talks between the governor and McDowell have taken place, but no sit down with Williams has been set.