Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Wilmington Police Department puts protest permits, bike registration, and drone records online [Free]

WILMINGTON — Citing the need to increase transparency and convenience for the public, the Wilmington Police Department has made several updates to its website.

While WPD didn’t explicitly put the updates in the context of recent protests downtown, they do all appear related.

The first update is a new ‘Permits and Forms‘ tab, which includes online access for three forms: ‘Intent to Picket‘ (a.k.a. protest), ‘Bike Registration,‘ and ‘Noise permit.’

The first two forms have both generated interest over the last few months. Following the murder of George Floyd by (now former) Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, protests have been launched around the world, including on Wilmington’s city hall steps since May 31 (protestors were recently relocated due to work on Thalian Hall, but are still downtown daily).

The Bike Registration process was the topic of discussion following an incident in downtown Wilmington were a protestor attempted to use his bicycle to block the exit from a parking deck while other protestors were crossing. A Land Rover drove past anyway, hitting the protestor’s bike. After a hit-and-run complaint was filed, the protestor ended up charged with ‘failure to register’ his bicycle, an offense which WPD admitted many were not even aware existed.

The bicycle registration is free for residents and costs $1 for non-residents.

WPD has also added a link to an online ‘drone log,’ which “outlines when and why drones were used in the month of June,” according to the department. The page will “be updated monthly, allowing citizens to track how police are utilizing these drones moving forward,” according to WPD.

Below: WPD June drone usage. It’s not clear if future months will include more specifics.

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