SALISBURY, NC (WJZY) - The City of Salisbury now has a new police chief. Jerome Stokes was sworn in Monday afternoon at City Hall. It comes on the heals of another act of violence against police across the country.
Chief Stokes said after continued violence against police, the way officers do their job will absolutely change.
Minutes after Chief Stokes took his oath, he gave a heartfelt reminder to the citizens of Salisbury.
"Every time you pass a police officer you should thank God those men and women are doing a difficult job in very difficult times with all the professionalism and caring possible," Chief Stokes said.
Chief Stokes has been a member of the police force for more than 30 years. He comes from Lynchburg, Virginia where he served as deputy chief. His swearing in, in Salisbury, coming mere hours after another shooting impacted his brothers and sisters in blue.
"Naturally, any violence has no place in our society and particularly when we are talking about gun violence," Chief Stokes said.
This month alone, gun violence has captivated the nation.
July 5th, Alton Sterling was shot several times by police officers in Baton Rouge. July 6th, Philando Castile also shot and killed by a police officer in Minnesota.
On July 7th, four Dallas police officers shot and killed by a sniper and on July 17th, three officers killed during a shooting in Baton Rouge.
The nation is now divided with some people supporting local police, while others are losing trust. Chief Stokes hopes his new officers follow one simple rule.
"Even if you have committed the worst crime in the world, doesn't give us the authority to treat you with any sort of disrespect for your rights," he said.
Policing in America could be on the verge of change. Chief Stokes says it's not about making the most arrests or giving out tickets, but continuing to find new ways to engage with the community.
"When community policing came out, social media and so all those things are different ways for us to do policing in today's modern society," said Chief Stokes.
The first plan for Chief Stokes is to get to know the Salisbury community before making any changes.