Take Action to End Operation Safe Streets

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“They’re cowboys. They make vice cops look like choir boys. These guys play fast and loose … They’re simply using their job title to violate the Fourth Amendment.”

The Wilmington Police Department’s Operation Safe Streets (OSS) is a partnership with the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) that allows police and probation officers to jointly police those on probation and, by extension, their family, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. OSS has been operating in Wilmington since 1997, ruling the streets and instilling fear into the residents in Delaware’s largest city.

The ACLU of Delaware conducted an extensive research project into the history, operations, and effectiveness of OSS, and we’ve compiled our findings into a story that paints a clear picture: OSS’s extreme tactics fail to improve public safety while causing deep and substantial damage to Wilmington’s Black and Brown communities.

Our communities deserve to live without fear of surveillance, harassment, and abuse by police and probation officers. We must end the abuse of power that fuels OSS.

Wilmington City Council and New Castle County Council have the power to end their Operation Safe Streets programs. We need you to write to your city or county officials and ask them to END OSS NOW.

Read our full story online at ACLU-DE.org/OSS.

Take action to end Operation "Safe" Streets
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Your Message
Use the form to send a message to Wilmington and New Castle County Council Members.
Dear Council Member,

Two years ago, on an otherwise peaceful day, Sharee Congo’s home was raided by Operation Safe Streets (OSS) officers, her son was tasered and beaten, and she was handcuffed and thrown down the stairs — all while her other children and young grandchild watched in terror. The reason? Her son, Armani, had been suspected of a probation violation.

Sharee and Armani’s horrifying story is just one stark example of OSS’s abuse of power. I just read ACLU of Delaware’s OSS story, where they highlight several case examples of people – both on probation and not on probation – who have been victims of harassment at the hands of OSS officers. Their story is backed up by court cases, interviews and FOIA requests — and I’m appalled that this is happening in our communities.

OSS has been touted as a great success, yet by any measure it has not only failed as tools of crime prevention and community service, it’s been a moral and institutional failure as well. Our communities deserve to live without fear of surveillance, harassment, and abuse by police and probation officers.

I’m urging you to take action to end the abuse of power that fuels OSS.


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