Second community meeting on gang violence is tonight is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Campus map detail noting the location of the CIS Building, where tonight's meeting will be held. Click to enlarge.
Campus map detail noting the location of the CIS Building, where tonight’s meeting will be held. Click to enlarge or click here for an interactive map.

The second installment in a series of focus meetings about gang violence in Wilmington will take place tonight at UNCW.

Set for 7-8:30 p.m. in room 1008 of the campus’ Computer Information Systems Building (campus map), the free forum invites all and will feature a panel of UNCW faculty experts to discuss gun violence, a notice from the City of Wilmington said.

Wilmington City Councilman Earl Sheridan, who is also a UNCW professor and chairman of its Department of Public and International Affairs, will introduce the talk, which will be moderated by fellow Public and International Affairs scholar Aaron King.

Other panelists: Craig Burnett, Public and International Affairs; Robert Blundo, School of Social Work; Cecil Willis, Department of Sociology and Criminology; and Donyell Roseboro, Watson College of Education.

The City of Wilmington announced the meeting series in October and held the first installment Nov. 4 in the Wilmington City Council chambers downtown. The purpose was to identify stakeholders that should come into the conversation and help to come up with solutions.

The focus of followup meetings would be the possible solutions themselves and their implementation.

Hundreds of shots fired in Wilmington this year have been attributed to gang violence, which Chief of Police Ralph Evangelous has said is a Blood-Crip turf war.

The Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office have responded with a newly launched team of officers and deputies increasing a law enforcement presence in public housing communities. The police department also received funding for what is called the Gang Investigative Unit, whose tactics will include surveillance and use of informants to crack down on gang members, according to the plan.

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