SALISBURY, Md.- Get more police officers and keep the ones already on the streets. That is what the Salisbury Police Department is trying to do.
During a Tuesday night city Salisbury City Council work session, the department presented a $400,000 plan that Police Chief Barbara Duncan said was met with a positive response.
"There was a lot of solid discourse which explained the training components coming into play for liability reduction and corporal prosecutions and the council was receptive to that," Duncan said.
Norman Coulbourne said he does not mind his tax dollars going toward having extra officers.
"With the increase amount of gangs, home invasions and everything else that is going on around here, we need more police out on the streets getting the criminals off the street and helping out and making themselves more visible and more available," Coulbourne said.
Duncan said the department is budgeted for 92 sworn members of the agency but an increase in staffing and retention is necessary since this year she expects calls for service to exceed 51,000 from 2011.
"When you take that tremendous work load and our staffing considerations and you pair that up and compare that to surrounding agencies we are below salary range for those comparisons," she said. "So our officers are working very hard to reduce crime to extend themselves into the neighborhoods and become community police officers."
Even though the department asked for a budget of $400,000, the council is willing to look at a plan of $650,000.
It's an idea John Palmer said he supports.
"We need to increase the number of people to help protect the community and serve the community and I know that other departments are asking for more for that same reason," Palmer said.
Jerome Deribber, who is a professor at Salisbury University, said recently there have been times he has felt uncomfortable walking his usual paths.
"I support that we give more money to the police department and more officers out there to prevent this before it happens than after it happens," Deribber said.
Duncan said she is planning go back to the council for another discussion next Monday night.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:37:33 GMT
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