• 68°

Salisbury Police focused on improving life for West End residents

There have been many discussions, meetings and news accounts from West End residents who say they fear walking through their own neighborhood. Many of those same residents gathered at a community meeting held a week ago at the Miller Recreation Center.

During the meeting, Police Chief Rory Collins discussed at length the plans his department has begun implementing to combat crime in the West End, much to the residents’ discontent. Collins gave a detailed description of the changes, which include beefing up patrols and incorporating a community relations officer, Reuben Ijames, who acts as a liaison between the West End and the police department.

Several of the department’s officers and supervisors spoke about their commitment to the West End.

Sgt. Corey Brooks, a Livingstone College graduate, spoke about his connections to the West End community. Many also know Brooks because he often drives the bus for sporting events.

In 2003, an off-duty Brooks, dressed in a suit, was approached by a man attempting to rob him at gunpoint. Brooks identified himself as a Salisbury Police officer, pulled out his gun, was able to call for help and even chased the suspect.

“I know how it feels when you hear sirens coming. It’s like a sigh of relief,” he said.

He encouraged the residents to call if they see unusual activity.

“With your help we can make the West End a stronger place,” Brooks said.

Residents have said what law enforcement have done is a “step in the right direction.”

Although there didn’t seem to be many kudos for the officers, some of whom attended the meeting on their day off, Collins didn’t seem disheartened and was excited and encouraged about the meeting. He has said there will be other opportunities for continued discussion.

What I found interesting from the meeting and wanted to zero in on was some statistics Sgt. Bryant Willis provided during the meeting. Willis said in the three weeks the team was patrolling the West End, they made 40 arrests and seized the following:

• 192 pills including Ecstasy and prescription

• 78.6 grams of marijuana

• 38.9 grams of cocaine

• $2,310 in cash

• six pistols

• one sawed-off shotgun

• one sawed-off rifle

• one BB gun

On May 1, there were two simultaneous raids on two homes in the West End. The Police Department’s Special Response Team (SRT), narcotics unit and Police Interdiction Team (PIT), along with the sheriff’s Special Response Team conducted the raids at 418 Grim and 1321 West Bank streets.

The officers have continued to patrol the streets and make their presence felt. It was even said during the meeting that people that in the past have committed crimes in the West End are thinking twice because of the enhanced police presence.

I say kudos to the officers patrolling West End. You have a long way to go, but I’ve heard it said that a “journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.


Comments closed.


Democratic candidate for 13th District will host virtual fundraising event with actor Mark Hamill


Blotter: Charlotte man charged with weapons-related offenses after vehicle stop, chase


Fugitive wanted in two states arrested in traffic stop


Sisters charged with assaulting mom during argument over colored pencils


Police looking for Salisbury man in shots fired incident


Charlotte woman faces drug charges after being stopped in rental car


Multi-building development on East Innes begins to take shape after years of delays


‘We know what time it is’: Livingstone students hear from local candidates for office




Lee Street theatre pivots after positive COVID-19 tests cancel live shows


Local voters say first presidential debate devoid of substance, contained little to change minds

High School

Interest is spiking in South volleyball


Education Briefs: Superintendent survey now available for community members


Celebrating national 4-H week


Robots with phonics: Rockwell Elementary is blending subjects to engage with kids


Agreement to divert minor disciplinary incidents from court ready for public feedback


Biden, Trump snipe from road and rails after debate chaos


Debate commission says it will make changes to format


County moves up to fourth in state for COVID-19 deaths


Photo: Truck wanted in connection with Reaper’s Realm shooting


North Carolina moves to Phase 3, but COVID progress is ‘fragile’


Changes to expect when phase three starts Friday


Blotter: Concord man faces weapons, marijuana charges after traffic stop


Political sign stealing on the rise in Rowan as campaign season heats up