SPD Major Corey Brooks named new BCJI grant coordinator

Published 12:10 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police Chief Patrick “P.J.” Smith announced that Major Corey Brooks will be the Byrne Criminal Justice Initiative’s (BCJI) new grant coordinator for the West End neighborhood improvements during the May 7 Salisbury City Council meeting. The previous coordinator, Chanel Nestor, resigned from her position based on a series of incidents that reportedly occurred outside council chambers during the April 16 city council meeting.

“He was already a part of the project, he was familiar with it, he was already attending the community meetings, and he felt comfortable,” Smith said. “He stepped up and said, ‘I’ll take that role. Don’t look at refilling it, I already got it. We’re in the home stretch.’”

Also during the meeting, Smith gave the city council an update on the BCJI program since Nestor left her role less than a month ago. 

The BCJI program originates from a $800,000 grant the Department of Justice awarded to the SPD in 2021 to go towards revamping the West End neighborhood. Brooks will be receiving additional assistance from Lieutenant Jennifer Moreau and Gwen Jackson, a consultant with Urbane Environments, who will stay on to see the project through. Jackson is now going to be more involved in organizing meetings and working with stakeholders. 

Major Justin Crews of the SPD is going to be in charge of managing the contracts and reports that need to be submitted to the Bureau of Justice Assistance and turning information in for the final report. 

On May 14, there will be a workshop at the Livingstone College Event Center for the recipients of the $200,000 West End Youth and Family Summer Program Capacity grant. Grant funds will be dispersed at the end of it or in the next couple days following the workshop.

Smith said the “next phase” of the project is going to center around camera placement in the West End neighborhood. Smith advised there will be a “series of meetings” with residents to find out the “best locations” for the cameras.

“What we want to try to avoid is that if we already have a camera up, that we’re not putting a camera in the same view or across view,” Smith said. 

Smith advised there are “a lot of variables that go into” how many cameras will be installed, but he estimated “roughly six to 10.”

Additionally, Smith said the street light pilot project discussed at the April 16 meeting has commenced. Regular LED lights have gone up from Grimm Street to Messner Street, with a new one added to West Bank Street. From West Fisher Street to West Horah Street, colored LED lights were put in, with two existing lights getting upgraded and four new ones added to Lloyd Street. To discover which lighting source is preferred for the neighborhood, a follow-up survey will be going out to residents. 

Given the unexpected change in leadership involving the BCJI grant, City Manager Jim Greene made it a point to confirm that Salisbury is still steadfast in fulfilling the plan that is near completion.

“This is exciting and the city remains committed to implementing this grant and working with the neighborhood,” Greene said.