Community conversation between police and residents to be held tonight

Published 12:04 am Thursday, September 22, 2022

SALISBURY — A meeting between Salisbury police and the community, dubbed “Cultivating Community Conversations,” is scheduled for tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Fire Station 6, 310 Cedar Springs Road. The final conversation event is in October.

The series, which has been held in three different parts of the city, has been possible in part because of a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation as part of the energy company’s $1 million pledge to social justice, racial equity in North Carolina.

At the meeting, residents who serve on the Police Chief’s Advisory Board will lead engagement between officers and residents in an open discussion. Food will be served.

“We are excited to continue the Community Conversation to engage and hear from our neighborhood residents,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes. “Meeting residents where they are has been our mantra for a number of years. We hope visiting residents from various areas across the city will allow the opportunity to increase familiarity between officers and the communities we serve. In addition to discussing community needs, we’ll also collaborate on what residents want to see from us, and how we can all work together to make our community better.”

“Face-to-face dialog is a means of boosting communication within the community,” added Rev. Dr. Roy Dennis, Police Chief’s Advisory Board chair and pastor at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. “There is so much going on in the community that can only be articulated by those who live in the community. The Cultivating Community series is an outreach attempt to tap into a wealth of information happening in the community while building trust together. The only means to make our communities safer is through the teamwork of the community and law enforcement. The act of sharing information will close the gap between crime and a safe environment within our community.”

Representatives from the Department of Justice Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program also will be present to gather resident feedback on the proposed use of the $800,000 grant for crime prevention, recreational and public space development, and youth programs for the West End.