Salisbury Announces Comprehensive Plan to Ensure Trust & Transparency in Policing


Chief Barbara Duncan and Mayor Jake Day announced today a multi-faceted plan aimed at bolstering public confidence in the Salisbury Police Department.  The Salisbury Police Department Comprehensive Trust Rebuilding Initiative was drafted in response to officer-related incidents of misconduct which came to light in February of this year.

“We had to take a look in the mirror,” said Chief Duncan.  “We found an overwhelming amount of positive work happening, but, unfortunately, we also saw some things that don’t reflect where we want to be as an agency.  This plan is our roadmap to fixing those things and being a better department every day we’re out there.”

The Trust Rebuilding Initiative is written to reflect the core values of the agency: Partnership, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Empowerment.  By focusing on these ideals, the plan establishes this clear and concise set of guidelines for the agency, all aimed at restoring public confidence:

  • 100% Inventory of Property Room under supervision of independent forensic auditor in partnership with Maryland State Police, Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office and Office of the Public Defender
  • Revive the Citizen Police Academy 
  • Stand up a Criminal Justice Task Force to propose City, County and State institutional changes to law, policy and procedure
  • Update Property Room Staff Structure & Authorities
  • Update Property/Evidence Policies & Procedures 
  • Subsequently Reduce/Destroy Non-Essential Property
  • Launch Police Complaint Mediation Program
  • Launch New Pathways for Citizen Complaints
  • Launch Citizen Review of Police Department Policies 
  • Continue/Expand Community Relationship Building
  • Continue Youth Engagement
  • Explore and Launch New Deployment Tactics 
  • Field a Community Policing Team
  • Maintain Focus on and Successes in Crime Reduction
  • Expand Upstream policing with Data-driven decision making
  • Improve Recruiting/Retention with Public Safety tax incentives, expanded benefits package

Mayor Day said, “I have been impressed at every step by the actions of Chief Duncan and the command staff at SPD.  They have proven their integrity, and their dedication to this City by holding every officer in these investigations accountable for their actions, and they moved swiftly and decisively to lay out a plan of action which I know will restore public trust in the agency.

“The Salisbury Police Department is made up of human beings, and human beings make mistakes.  That said, when those mistakes cross a legal or ethical line, no title, no badge, no employment or allegiance will prevent justice from prevailing in this city, in this department.  Not while I’m at the helm.”