Chief of police discusses department overview; several awards handed out

Published 12:06 am Thursday, February 9, 2023

SALISBURY — On Tuesday night, Interim Salisbury Police Chief Brian Stallings updated the city council on the current department climate, training initiatives and how they are working to help combat crime in the area. Community members, leaders and representatives from Livingstone College were in attendance to hear the presentation.

Stallings reported that 22 openings need to be filled, but they have several qualified candidates and prospects to join the force that do not require training.

“We’re having to be creative, we’re having to be resourceful. We are literally having to utilize people who normally aren’t people we utilize. So, that’s something that’s a plus. We got a lot of great people in our department that step up when we need to step up,” Stallings said.

Stallings said some in the department are “overwhelmed” with all that is happening. He pointed out that mental health education is available, as well as a peer support program with other officers helping those who need it to deal with stress.

Stallings also said the department is cultivating community conversations “to foster that mutual understanding. They need to know what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and basically we can hear from them where we need to go with our services.”

Chanel Nestor, Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation community project coordinator, spoke to the council about the West End BCJI Grant for the city. The $800,000 grant is to help revitalize the neighborhood while also confronting crime with help from the police department, parks and recreation, and planning.

Surveys have been completed, data collected, stakeholder meetings organized, with town hall conversations planned for February. Nestor made it clear that Salisbury has not yet received the money for the grant. An action plan will need to be completed by April 1 then reviewed by BCJI before funds are given.

United Way Executive Director Jenny Lee presented Salisbury Transit Director Rodney Harrison and Communications Specialist Kaisha Brown the Campaign Champion Award from the Rowan County United Way. In the last three years, they have served as cabinet members and raised over $305,000 for the county. Brown was also awarded the Rotarian of the Year by the Rowan Rotary Club in September.

“Their dedication to go over and beyond to meet their goals inspires everyone and also encourages healthy competition with other division chairs,” Lee said. “Their impact in Rowan County is immeasurable and we are incredibly grateful for their efforts to make our community a better place to live for all.”