Kenny Hardin, Salisbury City Councilman
♦ I want to thank Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes for taking the time to meet with me for a very productive breakfast meeting and discussion this morning.
I appreciate the Chief being receptive to my questions, criticisms and suggestions. I also appreciate his openness and honesty in sharing his thoughts.
We discussed the recent officer involved shooting and he listened to the questions and concerns I had surrounding the operation. He took full responsibility for some things that occurred and said he would be addressing the questions and concerns publicly soon.
We delved into creating a Citizen’s Advisory Committee that would work closely with PD Leaders on all facets of the Deparyment. We discussed increasing diversity amongst the 2nd tier leadership, increasing their visibility in the community, strategies to build trust and improve communication and talked over the historical context of how the divide happened.
I shared with the Chief the need for increased respect for the Black Community and to refrain from engaging in orchestrated feel good, insincere initiatives that people can easily recognize as being fake. I also shared how critical it was to work with all age groups and people outside of the normal few to whom the police routinely reach out.
Several citizens came up to our table and thanked the Chief for his service and shared their appreciation that we were talking about working together.
We agreed to make this an ongoing dialogue.