Salisbury PD Calls For "Historic Day" With 15 More Police On The - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Salisbury PD Calls For "Historic Day" With 15 More Police On The Streets

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SALISBURY, Md. - Over the past decade, crime in Salisbury has fallen.

In 2005, there were more than 3,000 serious crimes. Last year, a little more than 2,000.

But police say they need more help to keep the trend going.

"It's sad that we hear this so much, crime, crime, crime, crime, crime," said Wicomico Co. state's attorney Matt Maciarello.

In the past month, police have dealt with a number of serious incidents, including a robbery at Bank of Delmarva and a bomb threat at the Centre of Salisbury.

According to chief Barbara Duncan, at 92 officers, she's short-staffed. But the city is pushing to put 15 more officers on the streets by re-assigning five existing positions and hiring 10 more.
 
"When we have a serious call, we'll be able to have the resources to handle that call and also maintain these presence in these other areas of the city," said chief Barbara Duncan.

Those other areas, Duncan says, include downtown Salisbury, the Commercial District, Church Street and Doverdale.

The first-year cost is $832,822 for the additional police officers and another $277,161 for the communication supervisors, positions already on staff.

"If people don't want to come live here because they don't think it's safe, then we've got to make it safe that will get these officers paid," said mayor Jim Ireton.

"If you can respond faster to that armed robbery or faster to that rape or just have the mere presence with a police car on the street, that's going to do so much," said Maciarello.

Duncan says this would be the largest hire for the department.

The city wants those 15 officers out in the field within the next 18 months. As for if the council will vote this through, that's still unknown.

But council president Jake Day says he's all for the increase, saying in a message to 47 ABC, "I am 100 percent on board and believe we can support it for the long fight to cut crime even further."

If council changes the budget, no matter what, five police dispatchers will become communication supervisors by July 1st.

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