SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The first meeting of a citizen's advisory group for Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes was held on Thursday night at the Salisbury Police Department.
The group consists of local citizens including various civic leaders, pastors, and local residents.
During the group's first meeting, Dr. Kenneth Lance of First Baptist Church and Mae Carroll were selected as chairman and co-chair for the group.
Chief Stokes also presented a review of the purpose of the board and the 2018 Operational Goals of the Salisbury Police Department.
Those goals included an ongoing reduction in the incidents of gun crime, improved communication between the department and residents, and bringing the department up to full staffing.
Stokes told the group that one of its responsibilities would be "to provide accountability" for the chief.
"The intent is to have a means for the community to hold me accountable as the police chief, providing feedback and direction on what the police are doing well or (what) needs to be improved on in the community," Stokes told The Salisbury Post.
The group will also have the role of a sounding board for police policy development and review. The group would also be source of information and recommendation in events such as an officer-involved shooting.
Stokes said the group would be called in and briefed, then work to "get the truth out and prevent misinformation from spreading throughout the community," Stokes said.
Stokes would like for the group to consist of residents from all parts of the city. During Thursday night's meeting he encouraged members to help in recruiting more members.
Anyone interested in becoming involved with the group may contact the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333.