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New Castle County considers expanding its police force

The New Castle County Council is expected to introduce an ordinance Tuesday night to increase the size of the county police department.

The plan is to expand the force from 400 to 415 officers to address population growth in the county south of the C&D Canal.

County Executive Matt Meyer says the ordinance is “critical to the health of the police department,” especially in that southern part of the county.

“We need to make sure we’re not just responding to 911 calls, but we’re doing proactive policing," said Meyer. "We find that areas in which police are seen out in the community, engaging with communities, [they’re] not just seen in a negative light when something goes wrong, but also in a positive light. New Castle County Police are extraordinary and they do amazing work.”

Meyer says the additional officers will come from the 48th New Castle County Police academy class.

There are currently 368 sworn officers in New Castle County, with 22 in the current academy.

Twenty-six officers have either retired or resigned this year and another 64 will be eligible to retire in 2021.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.