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Government & Politics Police & Fire

Timeline for police station referendum set

by Terry Rogers

 

 

Milford Police Department Proposed Site Plan

On Monday, September 28, Milford City Council approved a timeline for a referendum designed to cover the cost of a new police station. The referendum for the new station was originally planned for April but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had worked with Richard Y. Johnson for a budget for this project around this time last year,” Brendan Frederick of Becker Morgan, the company hired to design the police station, said. “At that time, the number was $18,429,000 for everything in the building. We had to push the referendum due to the pandemic and we needed to know what impact that would have on the price. RYJ believes that we only need to increase the total by 3 percent, which raises the price to $18,917,800. There are still a lot of things we can do with the design to adjust the costs but wood prices have soared astronomically over the past few months. We just felt we needed to look at this as you are looking at completing design and starting construction in 2021.”

Mayor Archie Campbell questioned the increase in price as well as whether there is any information on what the interest rate on the bonds to build the station might be. Frederick explained that the increase is known as an escalation factor and that once the bid is accepted, a contractor is committed to finishing the building at that price.

“Normally, we estimate a one year delay as adding 5 or 6 percent,” Frederick said. “RYJ felt comfortable with 3 percent. If you delay another year, however, you could be facing another 3 percent, or you could face 5 or 6 percent. There is no way to know at this time.”

City Finance Manager Lou Vitola explained that the interest on the bonds is not based on whether the City borrows $18 million or $19 million but on how the market is, how the bonds are sold, the date they are issued and other factors. Vitola explained that with a project like this, the City needs to look at whether there is an adequate revenue stream to cover the bonds, not the interest rate. He suggested that the City did not want to keep putting off the police station until the interest rate drops.

The timeline begins with Council issuing a Resolution for Issuance of General Obligation Bonds on October 12, 2020. City Manager Mark Whitfield explained that the resolution would ask for $20 million in bonds be issued with maturities not to exceed 30 years. It is estimated that the cost of the bond issuances would be between 1 and 2 percent. In terms of property tax increases, if the bonds were issued for a term of 30 years with an interest rate of 2.41 percent, property owners could see an increase of $19.15 or $230 per year on their tax bill.

Once Council authorizes the issuance of the bonds, there would be a public hearing and vote on the resolution on November 9, 2020. The bond referendum allowing the public to vote on the referendum would take place January 20, 2021.

“What is our backup or alternative plan?” Councilman Andy Fulton asked. “I don’t think our community has any anti-sentiment toward police but if there is any, I hope that would not come out in a referendum.”

Whitfield explained that if the referendum failed, the City would have to gain an understanding of what caused it to fail.

“Is it the tax increase? Is it the cost of the building?” Whitfield said. “We would need to go back and see why the referendum failed. We could then tweak our message and go forward with another referendum.”

Council voted unanimously to approve the proposed timeline.

“I vote to approve the timeline subject to more discussions with the finance committee,” Councilman Dan Marabello said. “I approve the timing, but I am concerned about the bonds.” Councilman Todd Culotta commented that it was unfortunate the pandemic delayed the voting but he feels the new police station is very important to Milford.

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Headlines Police & Fire

Police Behavioral Health Unit discussed

by Terry Rogers

Councilman Jason James presented a request to Milford City Council to conduct a feasibility study to see what would be involved in adding a Behavioral Health Unit to the Milford Police Department. This unit would respond to calls that involved mental health or substance abuse.

“This unit would be made up of a mental health and a drug addiction segment,” Councilman James said. “When there is a 911 call that is primarily related to mental health or substance abuse, the behavioral health unit would be the first responder. If necessary, a police officer would also be dispatched with the unit depending on the nature of the call. That would allow police officers to focus on other things. There are a lot of cities around us doing the same thing and there is actually federal and state grant money that could fund this. We would start off with grants and then look at permanent, long-term funding.”

Councilman Andy Fulton asked if Milford Police Department had an intervention plan for substance abuse if that was the main point of a call. Chief Kenneth Brown stated that the department currently works with Behavioral Health and with Connections in Harrington.

“We will even give someone a ride to Harrington if that is what they need,” Chief Brown said. “If they don’t want to go there, we do provide them with as much information as we can, whether we give it to them or to a friend or family member who may be with them. I am in full support of a feasibility study to see how we could benefit from something like this. I’ve been talking to other departments who have been doing this for a short time. I don’t know yet if there is enough information out there to see how it would work, but I am all for it and look forward to working with a committee on this project.”

Because the discussion was only about a feasibility study, no motion was made at the Council meeting. Solicitor David Rutt explained that if the decision was made to establish a Behavioral Health Unit, the funding and costs would need to be voted upon by Council.

In other cities around the country, police departments have instituted Behavioral Health Units to address mental health and substance abuse calls. In most of these cities, when a call comes in that could be related to someone who is mentally ill or abusing drugs, a patrol officer is paired with a mental health professional. This allows them to work proactively to help those who are mentally ill and who are identified as having multiple, high-risk interactions with police.

“Right now, I am not sure how this would work in Milford,” Chief Brown said. “These are things we would need to work out as we conduct the feasibility study.”

No timeline was presented for how long the feasibility study would take.

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Culture Faith Headlines Police & Fire

Red, Blue Masses to honor law enforcement, legal profession

Two Masses are coming up in New Castle County to honor people serving the community in public safety and jurisprudence.

A Blue Mass will honor law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services and military. A Red Mass will honor lawyers and those in the justice system.

But the last White Mass, which honors healthcare workers, seems to have been held in 2015.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington’s annual Blue Mass for will be 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2 at St. Elizabeth Church, 809 S. Broom St, Wilmington. It will also be live-streamed on the diocese’s YouTube channel.

Bishop W. Francis Malooly will preside, with the Rev. Michael Murray, chaplain of the Wilmington Fire Department, as the homilist.

Although this will be a Catholic Mass, those of other faiths are warmly welcomed and to pray for those who risk their lives for the sake of public safety, the diocese said, noting that all state coronavirus rules apply for those attending in person.

The Blue Mass was begun in 2008 by Father William T. Cocco, a former police officer, as a parish event at St. John the Beloved in Milltown. He’s now the pastor at St. Edmond in Rehoboth Beach.

Law enforcement honor guard at 2019 Blue Mass in Wilmington. Photo courtesy of Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
Law enforcement honor guard at 2019 Blue Mass in Wilmington. Photo courtesy of Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The Red Mass, a tradition that dates back to the 1200s, started in Wilmington in 1988 as the signature event of the St. Thomas More Society of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The next local Red Mass will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 11 at St. Mary Magdalene Church, 7 Sharpley Road, Brandywine Hundred. Malooly again will celebrate. It will be live-streamed on YouTube.

It’s intended for judges, prosecutors, attorneys, law school professors, students and government officials.

“The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice and offers them the opportunity to reflect upon their God-given power and responsibility in the legal profession,” according to the society.

There’s also a White Mass for healthcare workers.

“It looks like the last time a White Mass was held at St. Francis [Healthcare in Wilmington] was in 2015,” said Mary Beth McCloy, communications director for Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic.

“According to the bishop’s secretary, a White Mass was scheduled to be held in the St. Francis chapel back in 2018, but it was cancelled because of some last-minute date complications. There was no Mass requested in 2019, and there is nothing scheduled in the near future in the diocese.”

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Culture Government & Politics Headlines Police & Fire

ATF offers $5,000 reward in Newark arsons

The federal government today offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for two arsons in Newark in August.

“At this time, investigators do not have evidence linking the two fires together but have not ruled out that possibility,” according to a statement from the Baltimore office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The fires were on Aug. 25 at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, destroying it, and on Aug. 17 at a townhouse under construction, causing $5,000 in damage.

The Chabad Center, at 262 S. College Ave., serves University of Delaware students.

“There is currently no indication to suggest that this fire was a hate crime,” the bureau said in a press release.

Fire fighters battle the blaze at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newark. Photo by Michael Romagnoli/Newark Camera Shop
Fire fighters battle the blaze at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newark. Photo by Michael Romagnoli/Newark Camera Shop

GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $500,000 to build an improved Chabad Center that’s double the size of the one that burned. County records describe the house as a 1930 Cape Cod with almost 2,000 square feet. 

“Someone destroyed more than the little blue house,” the campaign says. “They destroyed the walls that held 20+ years of memories, life, and laughter. … In the shadow of the fire, and amongst the ashes, a light of unity will shine brighter and much longer than the fire of destruction.”

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Aug. 17, a fire was discovered inside a townhouse under construction in the unit block of East Cleveland Avenue. “An individual was captured on video surveillance in the area of East Cleveland Avenue on the morning of the fire [and] has been referred to as a person of interest but may be a witness,” a press release said.

ATF special agents are working alongside the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal, so tips can be sent to 888-283-8477, ATFTips@atf.gov. 302-323-5375 or fire.marshal@delaware.gov.

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Headlines Police & Fire

Another Newark fire called arson; person of interest sought

A fire two weeks ago at a townhouse being constructed in Newark was arson, the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal announced today.

The fire was discovered shortly after 3 a.m. Aug. 17 in the townhouse, in the unit block of East Cleveland Avenue.

“The interior of the townhouse was damaged by the deliberate fire,” said Michael G. Chionchio, assistant state fire marshal. Damage was estimated at $5,000. 

This is the second time in two weeks that the office has decided that a Newark fire was arson. Last week, a fire destroyed the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

Investigators are asking the public to help identify a person of interest in a recent
Investigators are asking the public to help identify this person.

Arson is also blamed for a few recent trash fires on Lehigh Road, on Newark’s western side, he said. 

When asked if anything connects the fires, Chionchio said, “We’re keeping an open mind.”

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest captured on video near the townhouse by calling 302-323-5375 or emailing fire.marshal@delaware.gov.

GoFundMe campaign run by University of Delaware students has raised about $500,000 to rebuild the Chabad Center “even better, grander, and larger with even more space to host even more students, thereby bringing even more light to this world than ever before,” the page says.

East Cleveland Avenue is a popular site for townhouses rented by University of Delaware students.

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Culture Headlines Police & Fire Schools

DSU tackles Black Lives Matter with new boulevard, institute — and cookouts

As Jacob Blake’s name is added to the lengthening list of black Americans shot down in encounters with law enforcement, and the resultant protests generate their own casualties that seem to deepen existing divisions in our nation, I am reminded of the staunch insistence of a great American, Frederick Douglass:

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”

Today, in this moment — and because of our values — we continue to plow. 

Those who saw the first-mover actions of NBA and WNBA players this week — followed by players from Major League Baseball, Tennis, Major League Soccer and others — should place it in historical perspective.  American athletes have consistently risen to the moment throughout our history.

When you watch the forthright anger of Lebron James, hear the anguish in the voice of “Doc” Rivers, respect the continuing activism of Smyrna High School alum and emerging WNBA superstar Betnijah Laney, or witness the quiet dignity of Kenny Smith as he left the set of “Inside the NBA” in solidarity, understand that this is not new. 

Dr. Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University
Dr. Tony Allen

These are the latest leaders in a proud tradition that includes Jesse Owens, Louise Stokes, and Tidye Pickett in the 1936 Olympics; Jackie Robinson breaking professional baseball’s color line in 1947; and the iconic Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics by Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Individuals whose talents could allow them to a life of sheltered privilege have repeatedly chosen to be examples of true leadership in the cause of social justice, even at the cost of their own careers.

We cannot do less.

Today I am announcing three immediate steps that Delaware State University will be taking to help move forward in the struggle for a more equitable America for ALL.

It is important to understand that these actions come from our entire community: some have been driven by faculty and staff, others by our students.

That is the power of “we.”

Building bridges

At the suggestion of our Student Government Association, over the next few weeks there will be a series of small, socially distanced cookouts jointly attended by students and members of the University Police.

We must build more bridges between the students who call this campus “home” and the professionals responsible for keeping it safe. The time to talk is before incidents occur, and we view this as the critical beginning of a long-term, ongoing conversation. 

For some of our students – particularly those from marginalized communities — this will be the first time they have had a positive interaction with a Law Enforcement official.   We hope to ensure that it will not be the last. 

A new boulevard

The University will partner with the SGA on a second major project: creating a Black Lives Matter Boulevard at a prominent location on campus, completed funded by private donations.

Symbolic actions help define us, and as the nation’s most diverse, contemporary and unapologetic HBCU, we need to be both clear and vocal about who we are and the causes we champion.

I have asked SGA Integrity Administration President Tess Aguiar and her leadership team to spearhead this effort, working in conjunction with Student Affairs. We expect to be admiring the results before cooler weather kicks in.

A new institute

Finally, I am announcing a major University initiative that we have been pursuing for over a year: the creation of The Global Institute for Equity, Inclusion, and Civil Rights.

It will provide Delaware State University not just a prominent voice in the issues of the day, but the organizational structure that permits us to have a positive impact in Delaware and across our nation.

The institute will be an associated organization in our foundation capable of serving many roles, from garnering resources, developing partnerships, engaging in research, and stimulating activism.

It is a platform that allows us to lead.

These are foundational steps, but they are not new. 

Symbolic of a great nation is a people committed to its most important Declaration, that we all are created equal and “endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

In this moment, not only do each of these rights matter, nothing could be more important.  

Tony Allen is president of Delaware State University, a historically black college and university.

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Culture Faith Headlines Police & Fire

Student campaign to rebuild Newark Chabad exceeds goal

NOTE: This report has been updated to reflect the campaign surpassing its goal.

GoFundMe campaign run by University of Delaware students has raised more than its original goal of $250,000 to rebuild the fire-damaged Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newark.

Officials have said the fire, reported about 11 p.m. Tuesday, was intentionally set.

At a news conference today, the state fire marshal said it resembled other nearby arsons. “Absolutely nothing” points to it being a hate crime, said Rabbi Motti Flikshtein, youth and family program director of Chabad Lubavitch of Delaware. Flikshtein, who attended the news conference, said the 4,000 Chabad centers worldwide form a network of Jewish culture.

“We’d like to express our deepest and most sincere appreciation to the so many friends from far and near who are joining together in support of our students,” Rabbi Avremel Vogel, who runs the UD Chabad, and his wife Shulie say in a posting today on the GoFundMe page. “This is the greatest testament that love is stronger than hate and light can overcome darkness.”

“This individual tried to RAZE us to the ground, together we’ll RAISE to even higher heights than ever before!”

“There is no doubt in our mind that the best way forward is to not only rebuild the space that once was, but rather to create a new one that is even better, grander, and larger with even more space to host even more students, thereby bringing even more light to this world than ever before,” the page says, in explaining that its new goal is $500,000 of a $3 million project.”

The campaign was set up Wednesday evening and has drawn more than 5,000 donations. Flikshtein called it “a wave of giving” from donors worldwide that the Delaware community doesn’t know.

Multiple donations were for $18 or multiples of it, because 18 symbolizes life in Jewish culture.

Chabad offered Shabbat meals, classes, discussions and social events. Until the fire, it was always open, its Facebook page says. There are about 2,000 Jewish students at UD, about 12% of undergraduates, according to Kristol Center for Jewish Life

Because of coronavirus guidelines, Chabad had anticipated having programs under tents, Flikshtein said, and it will continue that, with food brought from the Vogels’ home rather than made at Chabad.

“The little blue house, which we students called home, will be missed, but it is time to give back and rebuild what we have lost,” the GoFundMe page says. It says “all funds will be given to the Vogel Family to rebuild The Chabad House.”

County records describe the house, at 262 S. College Ave., as a 1930 Cape Cod with almost 2,000 square feet. No one was inside when a neighbor discovered the fire, the state fire marshal said.

A criminal arson investigation is underway, and anyone with information is asked to call the state fire marshal at 302-323-5375 or Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333. 

The campaign is led by Grace Hollander, Haley Levine, Jessica Ehrlich, Sarah Chalmin, Nikki Matza, Louie Gelb and Alex Beigelman, plus alumnae Gabby Taubenfeld, and Ariana Marks.

“We affirm our solidarity with the Jewish community at this difficult time,” UD President Dennis Assanis and José-Luis Riera, vice president for Student Life, wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to the university community. “While not a University of Delaware-owned facility, the Chabad Center serves as a Jewish community center for our campus and sponsors a Registered Student Organization. It is an active part of UD’s religious, faith and spiritual diversity.”

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Headlines milford-live Police & Fire

Dept. of Justice: “use of deadly force does not constitute a criminal offense”

 

The Delaware Department of Justice, Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust, has issued the final report arising out of the investigation of the use of deadly force by Corporal Nigel Golding and Patrolman Patrick Karpin against Brandon D. Roberts (referred to hereinafter as “Mr. Roberts”). 

The Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust reviewed evidence consisting of interviews of civilian witnesses, interviews of police witnesses, scene photos, 911 recordings, dispatch records, video footage (fixed cameras and police body-worn cameras), police reports, medical records, and the ballistics report.  Attorneys with the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust reviewed this use of force incident for the Department of Justice.

According to the report, on Sunday January 5, 2020 at approximately 6:23 P.M., Milford Police were dispatched to 21 Linstone Lane, Building 21 for a domestic-related assault in an unknown apartment.  Dispatch advised Officers en route to the location that the incident was possibly in Apartment 5 and that dispatch had received multiple 911 disconnected calls from that apartment.  Dispatch further advised that the female inside the apartment was pregnant and being held against her will – and that possible weapons were involved, including an AK-47 and a machete.  They also advised that the male inside the apartment was threatening violence to law enforcement and may have mental health issues.

 

Officers Golding and Karpin were the first on scene and entered the building while assisting Officers maintained a perimeter on the outside of the building.  Both Officers Golding and Karpin drew their service weapons and went upstairs where Apartment 5 was located.  From the hallway they could hear screaming and loud banging within the apartment.  Corporal Golding knocked on the door and announced that it was the Milford Police.  Several seconds later the apartment door partially opens, enough that Corporal Golding could see a male subject (later identified as Mr. Roberts) standing behind the door, but Corporal Golding could not see Mr. Roberts’ hands.

Corporal Golding commanded that Mr. Roberts show his hands as the door began to close, at which point Corporal Golding reached to open the door further.  Mr. Roberts then exited the apartment into the hallway towards Corporal Golding, with a butcher knife in his right hand.  Both officers had their firearms drawn when Mr. Roberts exited the apartment.  Corporal Golding reached out with his free (left) hand in an attempt to block Mr. Roberts from moving Mr. Roberts’ right hand (with the knife) towards Corporal Golding, but Corporal Golding missed.  Corporal Golding backed up and continued to issue the command to “raise your hands,” but he had no more room to retreat given the small confines of the hallway.  Mr. Roberts continued to advance on Corporal Golding, at which point both Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin opened fire.  Immediately prior to being shot, as he was exiting the apartment, Mr. Roberts shouted, “Shoot me.”

After the shooting, both Officers Golding and Karpin rendered medical aid to Mr. Roberts but were ultimately unsuccessful.  The encounter was captured on the body-worn cameras (BWC) worn by both Officers, which contained both audio and video of the incident.  Additionally, a surveillance video system in the apartment hallway captured the incident, but the surveillance is without audio.  The entire encounter occurred in less than ten (10) seconds, and it was only three (3) seconds from when Mr. Roberts initially opened the door to the shots being fired.

The Delaware Department of Justice report was to determine whether the use of deadly force by both Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin against Mr. Roberts was a criminal act.  

“Based on the available evidence and the application of expert opinion to that evidence, we have concluded that it was objectively reasonable for Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin to believe that the use of deadly force upon Mr. Roberts was immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting themselves,” stated the report from the Department of Justice. “For these reasons, the Department of Justice concludes the use of deadly force by Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin upon Mr. Roberts does not constitute a criminal offense under the laws of the State of Delaware.”

The report stated that the witness 5 told investigators that s/he heard someone say, “good job” after the shooting, however, the body camera audio does not support this.  The Department of Justice states that the “audio of the body cameras makes this moment sound like, “good shot” but what was being asked was “who shot?” which prompts Golding’s response, “both units.””

The full report form the Delaware Department of Justice can be found at https://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/publictrust/report-of-the-department-of-justice-on-january-5-2020-use-of-force-by-milford-police-department/?fbclid=IwAR3Chn3X3nkxrFAf8kpPu4XW4iBvAhI4K6IhKtLJm0Ey34cfS2Vpg9xLiwo. 

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Headlines Police & Fire

Dept. of Justice: ‘Use of deadly force does not constitute criminal offense’ in Roberts death

A Delaware Department of Justice reports rules that two Milford officers who used deadly force against a man in January didn’t commit a crime because they thought they were in imminent dangers.

The report focused on an incident Jan. 5 when Milford Police Cpl. Nigel Golding and Patrolman Patrick Karpin shot and killed Brandon D. Roberts after answering a domestic relations call. The shooting was recorded on the officers’ body cams.

“Based on the available evidence and the application of expert opinion to that evidence, we have concluded that it was objectively reasonable for Corp. Golding and Patrolman Karpin to believe that the use of deadly force upon Mr. Roberts was immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting themselves,” the report said.

“For these reasons, the Department of Justice concludes the use of deadly force by Cpl. Golding and Patrolman Karpin upon Mr. Roberts does not constitute a criminal offense under the laws of the State of Delaware.”

Here is the release:

The Delaware Department of Justice, Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust, has issued the final report arising out of the investigation of the use of deadly force by Corporal Nigel Golding and Patrolman Patrick Karpin against Brandon D. Roberts (referred to hereinafter as “Mr. Roberts”). 

The Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust reviewed evidence consisting of interviews of civilian witnesses, interviews of police witnesses, scene photos, 911 recordings, dispatch records, video footage (fixed cameras and police body-worn cameras), police reports, medical records, and the ballistics report.  Attorneys with the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust reviewed this use of force incident for the Department of Justice.

According to the report, on Sunday January 5, 2020 at approximately 6:23 P.M., Milford Police were dispatched to 21 Linstone Lane, Building 21 for a domestic-related assault in an unknown apartment.  Dispatch advised Officers en route to the location that the incident was possibly in Apartment 5 and that dispatch had received multiple 911 disconnected calls from that apartment.  Dispatch further advised that the female inside the apartment was pregnant and being held against her will – and that possible weapons were involved, including an AK-47 and a machete.  They also advised that the male inside the apartment was threatening violence to law enforcement and may have mental health issues.

Officers Golding and Karpin were the first on scene and entered the building while assisting Officers maintained a perimeter on the outside of the building.  Both Officers Golding and Karpin drew their service weapons and went upstairs where Apartment 5 was located.  From the hallway they could hear screaming and loud banging within the apartment.  Corporal Golding knocked on the door and announced that it was the Milford Police.  Several seconds later the apartment door partially opens, enough that Corporal Golding could see a male subject (later identified as Mr. Roberts) standing behind the door, but Corporal Golding could not see Mr. Roberts’ hands.

Corporal Golding commanded that Mr. Roberts show his hands as the door began to close, at which point Corporal Golding reached to open the door further.  Mr. Roberts then exited the apartment into the hallway towards Corporal Golding, with a butcher knife in his right hand.  Both officers had their firearms drawn when Mr. Roberts exited the apartment.  Corporal Golding reached out with his free (left) hand in an attempt to block Mr. Roberts from moving Mr. Roberts’ right hand (with the knife) towards Corporal Golding, but Corporal Golding missed.  Corporal Golding backed up and continued to issue the command to “raise your hands,” but he had no more room to retreat given the small confines of the hallway.  Mr. Roberts continued to advance on Corporal Golding, at which point both Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin opened fire.  Immediately prior to being shot, as he was exiting the apartment, Mr. Roberts shouted, “Shoot me.”

After the shooting, both Officers Golding and Karpin rendered medical aid to Mr. Roberts but were ultimately unsuccessful.  The encounter was captured on the body-worn cameras (BWC) worn by both Officers, which contained both audio and video of the incident.  Additionally, a surveillance video system in the apartment hallway captured the incident, but the surveillance is without audio.  The entire encounter occurred in less than ten (10) seconds, and it was only three (3) seconds from when Mr. Roberts initially opened the door to the shots being fired.

The Delaware Department of Justice report was to determine whether the use of deadly force by both Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin against Mr. Roberts was a criminal act.  

“Based on the available evidence and the application of expert opinion to that evidence, we have concluded that it was objectively reasonable for Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin to believe that the use of deadly force upon Mr. Roberts was immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting themselves,” stated the report from the Department of Justice. “For these reasons, the Department of Justice concludes the use of deadly force by Corporal Golding and Patrolman Karpin upon Mr. Roberts does not constitute a criminal offense under the laws of the State of Delaware.”

The report stated that the witness 5 told investigators that s/he heard someone say, “good job” after the shooting, however, the body camera audio does not support this.  The Department of Justice states that the “audio of the body cameras makes this moment sound like, “good shot” but what was being asked was “who shot?” which prompts Golding’s response, “both units.””

The full report form the Delaware Department of Justice can be found at https://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/publictrust/report-of-the-department-of-justice-on-january-5-2020-use-of-force-by-milford-police-department/?fbclid=IwAR3Chn3X3nkxrFAf8kpPu4XW4iBvAhI4K6IhKtLJm0Ey34cfS2Vpg9xLiwo. 

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Police & Fire

*Updated* Suspicious death at home on Pennsylvania Avenue

The Milford Police Department’s Criminal Division has identified the victim in this case as David W. Parcher, 70 of Milford, Delaware. Further updates will be provided as they become available.

Original Release:

Released By Sgt. Robert Masten On 07.28.2020 Incident #51.20.7358 @0340 Hours
On 07.28.2020 at approximately 3:40 am officers from the Milford Police Department’s Patrol Division responded to a home on Pennsylvania Avenue to a report of a possible shooting. Upon arrival officers located a 70 year old male who had been shot in the chest. The victim was transported by staff from the Carlisle Fire Company to the Bayhealth Sussex Campus. It was later learned the victim had succumbed to his injuries. The victim has been turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science where an autopsy will be performed. The victim’s identity is being withheld at this time pending the notification of the next of kin. This investigation is ongoing an updates will be provided as they become available. Anyone with information about this matter is urged to call the Milford Police Department’s Criminal Division at 302.422.8081 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333. Tips can also be submitted online at MilfordPoliceDE.org/TIPS or Delaware.CrimeStoppersWeb.com