• 41°

Jerry Stokes sworn in as chief of Salisbury Police Department

Swearing in

Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander administers the oath of office to new Police Chief Jerome “Jerry” Stokes, who is accompanied by wife Zoe’ and son James. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander administers the oath of office to new Police Chief Jerome “Jerry” Stokes, who is accompanied by wife Zoe’ and son James. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY — Chief Jerry Stokes took the oath of office and officially became the Salisbury Police Department’s chief of police on Monday at City Hall.

Stokes was introduced to the City Council at a meeting on June 7. His last position was deputy chief of the Lynchburg, Virginia, Police Department, a department he was with for more than 30 years.

Stokes’ salary will be $95,000 a year.

Mayor Karen Alexander, Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell and the City Council members, along with other community and business leaders, gathered with community members to greet and talk with Stokes during the drop-in reception.

During the ceremony, City Manager Lane Bailey thanked Capt. Brian Stallings for leading the department after former chief Rory Collins retired in December of 2015.

“Capt. Stallings did a wonderful job leading us through this period of transition,” he said.

After the ceremony, Stallings said he was happy for Stokes. He said he spent his time as interim chief preparing the way for the new chief to step in.

“I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t love the department and the city,” he said.

Bailey acknowledged the events that have gained national attention in the past couple of weeks, including the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were shot by police officers, and the deaths of police in shootings in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“I can’t imagine a more challenging time to be a police officer or to assume the role as police chief, and I think at this time it’s just essential that we figure out ways to bring our community together,” Bailey said.

He said the ability to bring community policing to Salisbury was the number one quality he looked for in the new chief.

After a prayer by police chaplain Harvey Rice, Mayor Alexander administered the oath of office.

“We believe all of our citizens deserve to feel safe and protected in their individual neighborhoods,” Alexander said. “We believe that with more recognized and extensive experience and leadership and community policing experience, that together (Stokes) with our community can create a community policing model that is citizen-centric and a model for the nation.”

Stokes was given a chance to speak and thanked the mayor, council and city manager, as well as his co-workers from the Lynchburg Police Department who attended the ceremony.

He also thanked his parents, aunt and uncle, parents-in-law, daughters, son James and wife Zoé.

Stokes said he felt welcomed by the community and police department and he was looking forward to working with everyone.

He, too, acknowledged recent national events, as well as local events in Salisbury including unsolved murders, structural reorganization and firings.

“Every time you pass a police officer, you should thank God. Those men and women are doing a difficult job in very difficult times with all the professionalism and caring possible,” Stokes said.

He said the community must partner with the police, get involved and “act when we see injustice.”

Stokes said embracing “community-based, problem-oriented policing strategies” is his priority for the police department. He said the strategies will emphasize neighborhood support and sustainability.

“Our measures of success will not be numbers of arrest. Our measures of success will not be numbers of traffic citations we issue,” he said. “Our measures of success will be the reduction of crime, fear and disorder in the Salisbury community as partners with those living in and around our neighborhoods.”

At the end of his remarks, Stokes said he wants the department to be “servant-leaders in the community” and listen to the community’s concerns.

“I’m appreciative of this opportunity, and look forward to the future in Salisbury,” he said.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.



Council to discuss potential changes to Downtown Revitalization Incentive grant program


Public safety, city manager, economy: Mayoral candidates Alexander, Heggins discuss city’s biggest issues


Political Notebook: Rowan Democratic Party makes endorsements for municipal races


Spencer looking for big impact from new storefront grants

Granite Quarry

Election 2021: Granite Quarry’s new mayor will be a veteran or a newcomer

Ask Us

Ask Us: If I received my vaccine in another county, is it recorded in Rowan?


Young entrepreneur raises $1,000 for Rowan County United Way with lemonade stand


Election 2021: Candidates in East Spencer hoping to continue moving town forward


Election 2021: Candidates detail their visions, goals if elected to Salisbury City Council

China Grove

Election 2021: China Grove Town Council candidates detail approaches to handling economic, residential growth


Elect 2021: Four candidates competing for three seats in town of Cleveland


County hopes software will streamline foster home licensing process


Election 2021:Four vie for pair of seats on Granite Quarry board

High School

High school volleyball: Carson tops Mustangs again


Judge: No waiting on NC budget to act on school funding


2 more House Democrats retiring, underscoring 2022 obstacles


Man jailed for shooting at Davie detectives in Rowan County given $560,000 bond


County Commissioner Craig Pierce pleads guilty to driving while intoxicated


Overdose call turns into homicide investigation on Ted Lane


Court judgment requires occupants to vacate Gheen Road home, site of two murders


Blotter: Oct. 17


Bill Clinton back home after hospitalization from infection


Early voting creeps along as county holds first municipal voting on Sunday


5 killed in single-vehicle crash in Raleigh