Salisbury: Two Local Law Enforcement Veterans with Ten Years Experience were Rejected by the Salisbury Police Department for Being “Overqualified”.

Posted on April 30, 2017



Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney

♦ Bulletproof sources reported to us Friday that two local law enforcement veterans, with over ten years experience, were rejected by the Salisbury Police Department at the last minute for being “overqualified.”

These two experienced officers would have not had to go through months of BLET training and testing like new recruits. We would run no risk of them changing their minds and going to another law enforcement agency or fail BLET at the last minute. They are already familiar with the joint communications system and their agency already spent thousands of dollars on their training. They could be “on the street” in a day.

The Salisbury Police Department was at least 19 officers down a month ago and facing five retirements this year, yet they are rejecting potential officers as “overqualified.”

The long hot summer is upon us with another serious shooting just a few days ago. These experienced officers already have roots here (probably mortgages here) and if treated fairly would likely retire here. Young college educated kids who drive in from other counties will take months to get “on line,” will probably never move here, and will be tempted by larger and better run departments paying better in neighboring counties. I’ve lost track of the similarly situated officers having left the Salisbury Police Department in the past few years.

Chief Stokes already credited the fact that City Council is considering a pay raise as helping with recruitment. So far, it’s all talk on city council’s part. There has never been an actual vote. Unfortunately, with the “solution” to the $6,500.00 per day Fibrant deficit stalled, there’s likely no money to affect this “raise.” In “The City of Smoke and Mirrors” the raise may end up being dead on arrival, like so many Salisbury shooting victims.

Fixing our police department can not be delayed another six to nine months and this problem needs to be solved immediately. Somewhere between Chief Stokes, the assistant City Manager, and City Manager Bailey there is a disconnect or lack of understanding about how bad things are and how much worse they could become. Passing on experienced officers because they are overqualified appears incredibly boneheaded.

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