The Town of Salisbury is the northernmost town in Massachusetts, bordering the state of New Hampshire. Settled in 1638, Salisbury boasts 367 years of seaside history. With five miles of white sandy beach and easy accessibility from two major highways making Salisbury a popular attraction, the permanent residency of 7,800 swells to 30,000 during the summer months.
The Salisbury Police Department currently consists of seventeen (17) sworn Civil Service police officers, four (4) full-time and one (1) part-time civilian dispatchers. Our in-house administrative support consists of one (1) administrative assistant and our building is maintained by one (1) part-time janitor.
The Salisbury Police Department patrols 16.5 square miles that are divided into two sectors, an uptown patrol and a beach patrol. We operate twenty-four (24) hours a day and because of service demands, shift complements are typically stronger during the late evening and early night hours.
The Salisbury Police building, built in 1932 and currently failing despite some renovation work, is located in the heart of the beach commercial district. Increases in summer activity almost mandate a beach location, although related problems could be overcome with modern-day specialized transportation means should relocation eventually be found necessary.
Our beach location has created problems by lending itself to some community isolation and alienation. The geographic makeup of the community, being almost two separate communities, accentuated by a flattened hourglass aerial view, has contributed to this isolation. This single means of ingress and egress has created some realistic and perceptual barriers to the political and operational integrity of the police department.
Despite the geographic limitations, we have been able to provide a viable community-wide service, and we continue to professionally broaden our community service capability.
While the Salisbury Police Department is charged with policing the Town we should all remember Sir Robert Peel’s 7th principle of policing. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.