City plans to hold meeting in West End next week
SALISBURY — In response to concerns about recent gun violence in the West End community, City Council will meet in the neighborhood next week.
The Salisbury Police Department will hold the meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Miller Recreation Center at 1402 W. Bank St. A notice from the city of Salisbury issued today said City Council members have been invited to attend.
While a quorum of City Council members may participate, City Council will take no action, according to the notice.
The purpose of the meeting is to continue ongoing efforts to build stronger relationships between West End residents and the police officers who serve them, Police Chief Rory Collins said.
During the meeting, Collins will introduce the new community relations officer, Reuben Ijames, who is focused on the West End, as well as the new West End quadrant patrol officers.
Collins also plans to discuss police activity in the area. The agenda will include the city’s Code Services Manager Chris Branham and a city representative to discuss street lighting in the West End, which play a crucial part in the quality of life on the West End, Collins said.
Recent gun violence in the West End has left two dead, four injured and many others living in fear. Residents say gun violence and other violent crime have reached epidemic proportions.
After public pleas by several residents and neighborhood advocates frustrated with what they call neglect by the city, elected officials agreed to meet with residents in May.
The Salisbury Police Department has launched several new initiatives to put more officers in the neighborhood, including a second Police Interdiction Team. Police also raided two houses in the West End earlier this month and made several arrests on drugs and weapons charges.
Several residents say they have seen an increased police presence in the neighborhood since speaking out.
While the crime rate in Salisbury fell by 8.6 percent from 2009 to 2013, serious crime in the West End jumped more than 12 percent during the same period.
Read more in Friday’s Post.