WILMINGTON, DE — As dozens of Wilmington and New Castle County police officers were sworn into adjoining jurisdictions Friday, officials championed a new level of cooperation among law enforcement agencies.
“We have to team up, we have to work together,” county police Chief Elmer Setting said. “And the idea that we’re driving up to an invisible line and turning around is not a good thing. We’ve got to be able to go over those lines.”
Those words might have been a bit of overselling the change, considering state law already allows police to pursue anyone suspected of committing a felony, misdemeanor or motor vehicle code violation anywhere within the state regardless of original jurisdiction.
Even with that in mind, Ken Haas, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, believes the move could ease the tribalism and competitiveness often found among law enforcement agencies. That could lead to an increased emphasis on getting the job done instead of confrontations about who should get credit, he said.