• 63°

Editorial: Meetings of the minds on crime

Brainstorming

Salisbury City Council member David Post makes comments in the workforce breakout session of Monday’s Community Action Planning Session. The attendees broke off into four groups to discuss ways to address the problems that are perceived in the community.
JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST

Two series of meetings in Salisbury this spring — one planned by citizens, the other by officials — at first ran the risk of competing with each other. Both seek ways to reduce crime and violence and improve life in the city. Now that the meetings have started, though, it’s clear that the problem is big enough to make room for anyone who will offer up an idea.   

Stop the Violence: Al Heggins, Women for Community Justice and the NAACP got the conversation started with the Stop the Violence Summit on March 18. At their second gathering on Saturday, Police Chief Jerry Stokes presented a crime report that prompted discussion about gangs and violence. A third meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22, to come up with short- and long-term action plans.

Community Action Planning Sessions: Action is also the goal of the Community Action Planning Sessions sponsored by Salisbury, Rowan County and Rowan-Salisbury Schools. The first session, held Monday, drew a lot of government and school employees and individuals who have taken on the role of “ambassador” for the city. Three more are scheduled this month in different areas of the city to encourage wide participation.

The sessions focus on four areas — children’s opportunities, community relations, workforce development and public safety. The facilitator is building on Salisbury’s 2007 gang summit, prompted by the death of 13-year-old Treasure Feamster. The violent killing of a child sparked this year’s meetings, too. Seven-year-old A’yanna Allen was shot to death in her bed on Dec. 4 by a drive-by assassin, capping a year that had already seen too much bloodshed.

That tragedy removed any doubt that Salisbury needed to confront its complex crime problem. But some of the ideas can be as simple as these from one group’s charts Monday: “increasing male involvement” and “parenting classes.”   

The remaining Community Action Planning Sessions will be held:

• Thursday at Livingstone College, 6-8 p.m.

• Saturday at the Civic Center, 315 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., 10 a.m.-noon

• Saturday, April 29, at Hurley YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd., 10 a.m.-noon.

Yet a third meeting held in recent weeks spoke to problems challenging us:

Literacy Summit: It is not a stretch to say inability to read and write can contribute to criminal activity. The Literacy Summit led on March 10 by the school system focused on a topic that is integral to the survival of our young people — and, indeed, of our town.

So far, 2017 is shaping up as a year of revival for Salisbury and Rowan County. We have owned up to the crime problem and are seeking solutions. The test will be working together to take concrete actions.

Comments

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread