Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Delaware State Police vehicle

Delaware State Police patch

Site LE Agency
Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Site Researcher
Drs. Rachel Santos and Roberto Santos, Radford University’s Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research

Site Focus
Shooting incidents, street gangs

SPI Strategy
Technological innovation, stratified policing

Site Cohort

Site Profile
Large semi-rural area of 800 sq. miles with a population of 180,786

Project Overview

Kent County, Delaware has noted a steady increase of shooting incidents significantly affected by, but not limited to, street gangs. In 2015, the Delaware State Police (DSP) implemented Stratified Policing, an organizational approach for sustaining evidence-based proactive crime reduction strategies that standardizes crime analysis, the problem-solving process, and accountability. As a result, DSP has seen significant reductions in robbery, burglary, and theft crimes. However, DSP’s lack of analysis capabilities and technology has provided to be a challenge when trying to address the increase in shootings. To accomplish their SPI initiative, DSP will work to improve their Stratified Policing Model and purchase the SAS Intelligence and Investigators Management system, which allows merging of incident, investigative, and intelligence-related data. Then, DSP will comprehensively map this information—along with shooting hotspots—to prepare crime pattern and offender-focused products.

Data Highlight

  • From 2016 to 2018, Delaware experienced an over 26% decline in shooting incidents, and Kent County experienced a 7.6% decline.
  • From 2018 to 2019, shooting incidents increased approximately 14% in the state, but 20% in Kent County.
  • Early 2020 statistics for Kent County show an ascending trend in that it has already had a 50% increase in homicides involving a gun compared to all of 2019.