City Details Year of Progress for SAFE Charlotte Program
Beverlee Sanders
SAFE Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C (Sept. 27, 2021)--During the past 11 months, the city has worked with external consultants, community members, community partners and other stakeholders to advance next steps within the SAFE Charlotte recommendations. Today, a summary of the SAFE Charlotte program recommendations and next steps were presented to the mayor and members of City Council and detailed some of the public safety improvements the city has made since the SAFE Charlotte initiative was adopted a year ago. The presentation also included findings of external and independent analysis of several key areas of interest.

During the past year, the City of Charlotte has solidified and implemented public safety policy improvements developed through conversations with residents and community leaders. Notable successes include:

  • Hiring civilian violence interrupters to stop violence before it starts in the Beatties Ford Road community.
  • Providing support for community organizations by granting nearly $1 million to grassroots organizations to provide job training, youth services and other support.
  • Opening the first de-escalation training facility to provide officers with the training and communication skills they need to reduce volatile circumstances.
  • Improving Language Access by providing Spanish-language press conferences and Spanish-language social media accounts to build and foster relationships with immigrants and residents with limited English.

"We made a commitment to our community to move forward and make Charlotte a safer community for all our residents and though we still have more work to do, we have made great strides together," said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. "We will continue to work to make Charlotte the type of place that we can continue to be proud of and we understand that goes beyond just policing and public safety. SAFE Charlotte is a comprehensive approach to identifying and exploring potential systemic issues to ensure a community of equity and opportunity."

Key next steps for SAFE Charlotte are:

  • Grant $1 million to grassroots community organizations in 2022.
  • Expand crisis response teams and develop a non-sworn officer responder model for mental health and homeless calls.
  • Add civilian positions to support CMPD youth programs.
  • Add civilian positions to develop and improve CMPD officer training programs.

"The report provided several helpful findings that we continue to examine in addition to areas where we have some discrepancies and differences of opinion," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Police Chief Johnny Jennings said. "The CMPD will continue to work with city leaders and others to ensure we are doing everything we can to live up to the CMPD's historic reputation of being one of the nation's premier law enforcement agencies."

Law enforcement reforms and violence interruption programs are only part of the solution to creating a safer Charlotte. The City of Charlotte's all-in approach also focuses on helping residents thrive because of improved opportunities for affordable housing, jobs, and safe, reliable transportation.