Salisbury Police Department selected as a National Public Safety Partnership site

Published 11:51 am Thursday, August 23, 2018

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Police Department has been chosen to participate in a national program to combat violent crime.

The department will get an 18-month commitment as a National Public Safety Partnership Diagnostic Site through the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a statement.

The partnership comes on the heels of one with the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.

The National Public Safety Partnership is a platform for the federal agency to work with cities to identify and prioritize resources that help communities address gun, drug and criminal gang violence.

The Police Department will get training and technical assistance to development, implement and evaluate initiatives. It will also get strategies on community engagement in violence reduction.

Salisbury police officials hope to implement tactics such as a greater use of firearms ballistics tracking technology; targeted gang offender operations; the installation of security cameras and license plate readers; and the use of enhanced sentencing under federal prosecution to reduce violent crime and make Salisbury neighborhoods safer.

Department of Justice partnership agencies such as the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Marshals Service will work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina. The U.S. attorney will coordinate federal prosecution based on cases brought by the agencies.

“Our selection as a National Public Safety Partnership Diagnostic Site is welcome news as it allows us to continue the work we started with the Office of Justice Programs assessment a year ago,” said Police Chief Jerry Stokes.

“In reviewing the success of other sites such as Compton, California, in reducing its homicide rate, and Jackson, Mississippi’s decrease in overall crime, Salisbury is a strong candidate for a noticeable, downward shift in its violent crime. Let this serve as a heads up to those who are engaging or would engage in these destructive actions in our city. We are using every tactic at our disposal to make Salisbury safe for all of our residents. Your actions are not tolerated here.”

The National Public Safety Partnership was established in June 2017 under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to a presidential executive order on a Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. The program emphasizes the role of the Department of Justice in combating violent crime.