Prior to his relocation to Salisbury, Police Chief Jerry Stokes had begun to assemble a group of residents in Lynchburg, Va., as part of the Police Chief’s Citizen Advisory Board (CAB). He retired from the Lynchburg Police Department before the group got in to full swing, but he brought the same concept of collaborating with community members to Salisbury. Soon, Salisbury will boast its own CAB with a goal of assisting Chief Stokes with policies, procedures, practices and accountability from a citizen’s perspective.
According to its charter, the mission of the CAB is “to create a forum of citizens and leaders from within the City of Salisbury citizenry to collaboratively address the immediate and future needs of the Salisbury Police Department by researching, planning, reviewing assigned and selected cases or matters, providing advice on department policies, and recommending solutions that will integrate and prioritize the best-case practices.”
“Through this group, we are searching for ways to improve community interactions and relationships with the police, but more importantly develop strategies to keep people safe,” said Chief Stokes. “My hope is that this advisory group will advise us on how we can improve relationships, and as we implement ideas, let us know if we are on the right path.”
Stokes is planning for a 25-member board – two neighborhood representatives from a grouping of city neighborhoods divided in to nine areas based on demographics data analysis, and one representative from each of the major institutions in the city, such as Livingstone College, Catawba College, and the NAACP. Applications will be accepted, reviewed and vetted by the initial CAB membership committee. Many of the citizens who have assisted Stokes thus far have been involved in the Public Safety Community Action Team.
“We may explore combining these two groups since they both have a common goal, but it is still very early in the implementation,” said Stokes.
To apply to be a member of the CAB, complete the online or print application (below). There is no deadline to apply. Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis.