Robert Oliver

Candidate for City Council At Large

Responses to Wilmington Police Reform Survey

Will you vote to make all police disciplinary records public, and push for changes in state law necessary to make that possible?

Yes – Our police officers are accountable to the communities they serve. Just like we require of our medical professionals, our law enforcement officer’s records you be public. We must restore faith in our communities that no one individual is above the law. 

Will you vote for an ordinance prohibiting Wilmington police from engaging in civil asset forfeiture?

No – There are cases where police officers should engage in collecting property associated with a crime. However, we cannot accept police abusing this right and targeting individuals. If a person is not charged with a crime then police officers have no right to remove that individual’s property from their procession. 

Will you vote for Wilmington police to collect and publish data, including by race, on all pedestrian and traffic stops they conduct, including the reason for the stop?

Yes – Knowing this information is required would make police officers think twice before engaging in targeted interactions with communities. 

Will you vote in favor of periodic psychological evaluations of Wilmington police officers? Will you vote for funds to mental health support for officers?

Yes – The job of a police officer is stressful. A psychological evaluation must be mandated for all law enforcement personnel. This is also key in early identification of mental issues where substantive intervention can play a crucial role. 

Will you vote for issuing all Wilmington Police officers body cameras?


Since police officers are public servants, do you believe footage from arrest and police misconduct should be made public record?


If elected would you create and/or vote yes on an ordinance to end “no knock warrants”?

Yes – This is a practice that leaves room for too much error. In the case of Breonna Taylor, knowing the officers acted in “good faith” is not enough. We cannot have errors in our criminal justice system. This will also require our law enforcement officials to get innovative about how to apprehend suspects. 

Will you vote in favor of ending Operation Safe Streets, which utilizes aggressive policing tactics to harass Wilmington families and community members?

Yes –  I do not support fear and intimidation as policing efforts. You should be policing not controlling and you should the people in your area.

Will you vote in favor of a community review board that has the power to investigate incidents and complaints, audit policy compliance, has hiring and firing authority, and make records and hearings public to the greatest extent possible?

No – I do not believe that the board should have hiring and firing authority. I believe transparency is key to holding police accountable. I think review boards could play a large role in building that accountability. 

Will you require and fund Wilmington Police to operate a pre-arrest diversion program for people with substance abuse issues (a model similar to New Castle County’s Hero Help)?

Yes – We must stop criminalizing addiction. We need a concerted effort to combat the rise of substance abuse in our City. We also need quality programs to assist with follow up and engagement. 

Communities of color in Wilmington have borne the brunt of aggressive policing and war on crime policies for decades. Those communities also bear the scars of decades of discrimination in housing, education, and access to economic opportunity. What will you do as a Council member, Mayor, or treasurer to repair that harm?

Restoring Wilmington will take bold innovative solutions that are targeted to propel city residents to succeed. We must first acknowledge the history of inequitable and racist policies and the impact they still have on our communities. Reversing this takes strategic investment, targeted support, and strong advocacy at the state level. We must create mechanisms that allow for economic mobility. We must bridge the divide between our government departments to allow for intense intervention and work with our community residents to identify specific solutions.