Lt. Patrick ‘P.J.’ Smith promoted to captain by Salisbury Police Department

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, July 20, 2022

SALISBURY – Salisbury Police Department Lt. Patrick “P.J.” Smith has been promoted to captain, following the retirement of Capt. Melonie Thompson. Most recently, Smith served as special investigations lieutenant.

Beginning July 23, Smith will supervise the services bureau comprised of seven units: the Rowan Regional Crime Information Center, general investigations, violent crimes investigations, vice/narcotics, neighborhood crime abatement team, the crime lab and organizational development and hiring. These units are responsible for specialized investigations that go beyond the routine response of daily operations of the department, and require that its personnel have specialized skills and training. In addition to hiring, organizational development is responsible for leading the department’s internal practices and employee career enhancements.

Smith began his career in law enforcement 17 years ago as a Salisbury patrol officer. He was promoted to criminal investigation detective in 2009, five years later was elevated to patrol sergeant, and then was promoted to lieutenant over the special investigations division in 2018. Throughout his tenure, Smith led various crime reduction strategies, including increased community engagement relationships and the implementation of the Rowan Regional Crime Information Center. He also managed narcotic investigations, crime analytics and records division staff. And in the last two months, Smith was directly involved in the West End Salisbury Transformed Empowered Neighborhood Development project, a multi-agency effort made possible by an $800,000 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant from the Department of Justice.

“I am thankful for the opportunity the city of Salisbury has given me to work in the capacity of captain for the Salisbury Police Department,” said Smith. “I am dedicated to working closely with our officers to address crime and quality of life issues within our scope, while promoting officer wellness from within the department. I look forward to this new endeavor and working with our citizens as partners to address the needs of Salisbury together.”

“I’ve been impressed with P.J. and his commitment to keeping our community safe for a number of years,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes. “He’s one of my most trusted officers in one of the toughest divisions at the police department. I’m excited to see his career progression flourish as we work to reduce crime and protect all citizens.”

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Columbia College, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in leadership through Pfeiffer University.