Formation of the Homicide Task Force

In 2005, 85 people were murdered in Charlotte-Mecklenburg-the largest number since 1995. In a community of 670,000 people that prides itself on its heart, its compassion, and its quality of life, 85 homicides is 85 too many.

As homicides in Charlotte began to increase, African Americans became disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and perpetrators. In discussions on how to address the problem, then Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon, Assistant City Manager Keith Parker and Police Chief Darrel Stephens conceived the idea of a task force to examine the issue. The Task Force would be composed of representatives from many segments of the community who could examine the issue from varied perspectives and make recommendations on what the City Council and the community could do to impact the problem. Council approved the formation of the Homicide Task Force on February 28, 2005. Dianne English, Executive Director of the Community Building Initiative, agreed to chair the Task Force and worked with the City Manager's Office to identify task force members who represented critical points of view on the homicide and violent crime issue.

Task Force Members:

Chair: Dianne English, Executive Director, Community Building Initiative
Norris Anderson, Neighborhood Advocate
Lisa Crawford, Mothers of Murdered Offspring
Madine Fails, Urban League
Dr. Paul Friday, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Marsha Goodenow, District Attorney's Office
Maria Hanlin, Mecklenburg Ministries
Jane Montognese, Victim Advocate
Lindelly Rajo, Mecklenburg Women's Commission
Willie Ratchford, Community Relations Committee
Chief Darrel Stephens, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
Pam Syfert, City Manager
Lawerence Toliver, Charlotte Chamber
Kim Vazquez, Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office
Ken White, NAACP
Ray Wilson, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Task Force Staff: Keith Parker, Assistant City Manager
          Major Kevin Wittman, CMPD Investigative Division
          Captain Sean Mulhall, CMPD Homicide Unit
          Darrellyn Kiser, CMPD, Assistant to Police Chief
          Jamie Privuznak, Management Intern, City Manager's Office
          Wilson Hooper, Management Intern, City Manager's Office