EditorialsWicomico County

Eastern Shore Undercover Editorial: Salisbury’s “Here is Home” Initiative

Yesterday, Mayor Jake Day announced Salisbury’s “Here is Home” housing expansion incentive initiative, which is expected to bring 8,100 new housing units within the next 5 years to the Salisbury, Maryland area.  That will consist of 5,000 apartment units, 161 assisted-living units, 376 duplexes, almost 1,400 single-family detached homes, 600 townhomes, and over 400 units that will become either townhomes or apartments, depending on the need at that time.

Let me first say that I am not trying to be the “Debbie Downer” or the “Negative Nellie” here, but I have some real concerns, which I’m hoping someone can put my mind at ease.

First off, I think Mayor Day is correct and the financial aspect that this will bring to the City of Salisbury, and Wicomico County in general, is very beneficial. 

That being said, my concern is before we go and start adding more homes, and adding to the population within the City of Salisbury, shouldn’t we be a little more concerned with the overall crime that we have here in Salisbury…. with our current population?  

You can tell me that crime rates are down and talk until you’re blue in the face, and I will tell you that you are sadly mistaken!  That goes for anyone that wants to talk about crime in the City of Salisbury! 

I listen to the radio probably more than anyone in this area, because of this page, including our law enforcement officers and local leaders of our community, and I can tell you crime is NOT low, not even close to it, as a matter of fact, I would say it is pretty high!

You can manipulate numbers to fit any condition you want but the fact remains that from the time I turn the scanner on, until the time I turn it off, that radio is humping and the men and women of the Salisbury Police Department are running call to call, earning every single dollar that they make, and by the way, that isn’t enough! 

The men and women of the Salisbury Police Department are OVERWORKED and UNDERPAID, and that is with the current population.  Knowing that over the next 5-years because of the Salisbury’s “Here is Home” Initiative, we will be adding 8,100 more housing units and a population increase of nearly 21,000 people, they will now have to work harder and it is safe to say, that they will be drastically busier.

In addition, I can’t speak for the Salisbury Police Department but I can tell you that other agencies around this area, such as Wicomico County, Worcester County, and Somerset County, are severely struggling with getting qualified applicants to become law enforcement officers.

Let’s face it, people are not jumping up and down with excitement to be a law enforcement officer in today’s climate, so is there is a plan in place, to make sure that there are enough applicants and enough manpower to safely patrol this increase in population?

If there is a plan in place, then I will support the Salisbury’s “Here is Home” initiative 100%, I will take back my words and have egg on my face, which I actually hope is the case because that means, there are going to be a plethora of new hires within the Salisbury Police Department (not sure where they are going to come from), we are going to compensate the hard-working men and women of the Salisbury Police Department appropriately (a much-needed pay increase) and that means, that we will hopefully get a handle on the current crime issues in Salisbury (which it seems like they are struggling with under the current conditions).

Am I wrong?  I have attached the video from our friends at Pac-14, so you can view yesterday’s city council meeting, where this is all discussed, and you can determine your own opinion about the situation.

I know a lot of people will say this is a jab or a dig at Mayor Jake Day but I am here to tell you, that it is nothing further from the truth, I have nothing against the man personally. I have only met him two times in my life, both of which were when I was working at the courthouse and he seemed like a very nice man.

In the nearly two years that I’ve been operating Eastern Shore Undercover, I have had 1 email conversation with him, it was not a bad one, he expressed his reasoning for not agreeing with this type of business, the concerns he had and I accepted that, and have not bothered him since.

That said, my issue isn’t with Mayor Day, it is with the overall situation and the concern for crime and our law enforcement officers, now and in the future! If we can’t take care of what we already have, how are we going to add to their problem?

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