Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney
♦ Today WSOC-TV interviewed Rowan County Commissioner Craig Pierce and City Councilman, Kenny Hardin about discussions that WSOC-TV says amount to a plan for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to take over the Salisbury Police Department, at least temporarily. The city’s spokesperson said this was a false rumor and that the City Manager would continue to direct the Salisbury Police Department. Talk about “eyeballing a gift horse in the mouth!”
The Salisbury Police Department, reeling from years of low pay and having the city’s $10,000.00 per day Fibrant deficit being paid for by the 100K per year savings from each empty officer’s slot, are now 19 officers down. Many officers voted with their feet and SPD, according to our chief, barely fields enough officers to answer calls. With 17 unsolved murders in the city, shooting almost every night, people wounded or killed each week and all neighborhoods being invaded and victimized, seems like the right time for outside intervention.
It’s quite clear that Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander, Maggie Blackwell, and Brian Miller lack the political will in an election year to raise Salisbury Police salaries across the board to fill those positions and halt the non-stop exodus of trained officers. All three should resign and take the current city manager Lane Bailey and the Chief Stokes with them.
Our thanks go out to Rowan County Commissioner Pierce and Salisbury City Councilman Kenneth Hardin for “thinking outside the box” and trying to stem Salisbury’s advanced murder and mayhem. While it may be unavoidable, it is unfortunate that rural residents who don’t have or desire Fibrant and did not vote for Salisbury’s elected officials, who financially harmed this city, may end up having to pay the tab so that city property taxes do not have to be increased for Salisbury’s elite.