SBY Police Dept. receives additional state funding, push to retain officers with competitive pay
SALISBURY, Md. – “It’s our responsibility to deliver it but I appreciate it that the state sees it as their partial responsibility to fund it,” Salisbury Mayor Jake Day said.
Mayor Day says that responsibility is a commitment to stronger policing. It’s something that’s one step closer to becoming reality for the City of Salisbury thanks to almost $1.9 million awarded from the recent Maryland legislative session.
“It takes a lot for any municipality to provide policing services to its citizens and certainly this $1.9 million will definitely help ease that burden for citizens,” Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan said.
Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan says law enforcement agencies across the state of Maryland are having a very hard time retaining officers. She adds that Salisbury is no exception, as the department’s biggest challenge is recruitment. In fact, where it stands now, they have a total of 17 vacancies.
“Which really impacts the type of services we can provide and the frequency. It also impacts the resiliency and the wellness of the officers who are working on a daily basis to provide those services,” Chief Duncan said.
It’s an issue city officials say the additional funding will tackle while allowing the department to remain competitive with other local agencies. “Which helps us continue to do the things like the 9 consecutive pay raises that we’ve been able to do in the last 6 or 7 years,” Mayor Day said.
“So in order to attract and retain quality individuals who want to do that work and want to commit themselves to working in that vein, you know you do have to look at salary and compensation,” Chief Duncan said.
Mayor Day says it’s also important to understand that local policing goes beyond the city of Salisbury.
“When you think about the fact that we have outsiders that come into our city every day. Those people can come here to commit a crime, just to shop, or get a service and become the victim of a crime and we want to serve every single one of them,” Mayor Day said.
Chief Duncan also says the city has been focused on officer wellness which some of those funds will be allocated for.
Mayor Day also says the competitive pay hopes to also bring in more officers.
Other awards announced for the city of Salisbury included the construction of the city’s Rail Trail and a new Boys and Girls Club.