CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (June 26, 2017) – Charlotte City Council took action Monday authorizing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to submit a grant application to the U. S. Department of Justice that would fund 15 new police officer positions.
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program offers $137 million to law enforcement agencies to hire and/or rehire law enforcement officers in an effort to increase community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts. The COPS grant would provide CMPD with nearly $1.9 million over three years.
The new officer positions would increase CMPD's capacity to implement community policing strategies that strengthen partnerships for safer Charlotte neighborhoods and enhance CMPD's capacity to prevent, solve and control crime.
The grant application deadline is July 10, 2017. The COPS office will notify grant awardees by Jan. 1, 2018. If CMPD is awarded grant funding, City Council will be asked to accept and appropriate the funding. CMPD will hire the 15 new police officers in fiscal year 2019.
This initiative aligns with the City of Charlotte's Community Letter goal of safety, trust and accountability in policing.
Other Council Items
Extraordinary Events Ordinance
Charlotte City Council voted unanimously Monday to repeal the city's Extraordinary Events Ordinance.
The ordinance was adopted Jan. 23, 2012, in preparation for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. It addressed large-scale special events of national or international significance and other Charlotte events that attracted a significant number of people.
On Jan. 6, City Attorney Bob Hagemann and Police Chief Kerr Putney hosted a community forum to review the potential ordinance repeal with Charlotte residents and other key stakeholders. City staff has been in the process of reviewing the Extraordinary Events Ordinance including its use and impact since February.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will continue to work with organizers of large events to develop and execute public safety plans for large events considering current threats and intelligence.
Citizens Review Board Revisions
The Charlotte City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve the Community Safety Committee's recommendation to revise Citizens Review Board membership requirements.
The revisions include:
- Expressing focus on maintaining diversity on the board
- Providing for interviews of prospective board members prior to appointment
- Prohibiting the appointment of current and former city employees and family members of current and former CMPD employees
- Adding a requirement for eight hours of training which may include a police ride along
The City Council established the Citizens Review Board in 1997 to review appeals challenging CMPD's disciplinary decisions.
The board reviews appeals filed by citizens concerning CMPD disciplinary decisions in five types of cases:
- Unbecoming conduct by an officer
- Improper use of force by an officer
- Unauthorized arrest, search and seizure by an officer
- The discharge of a firearm by an officer that results in death or injury
- Arbitrary profiling (added in 2015)
The Citizens Review Board has 11 members: three appointed by the mayor, five appointed by the City Council and three appointed by the city manager.
In order to qualify to serve, a person must be:
- A registered voter and citizen of Mecklenburg County
- Have no conviction or nolo contendere plea to a felony or Class A misdemeanor, or Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor within three years of nomination
- Execute a confidentiality agreement
- Complete the CMPD Citizens Academy
Public forum for upcoming District 2 seat vacancy
Twelve candidates interested in filling the upcoming seat vacancy in City Council District 2 had the opportunity to address council members during Monday's City Council Business Meeting.
On Monday, July 24, the council will vote to appoint one of the candidates to fill the vacancy. On Tuesday, July 25, the person appointed to fill the vacancy will be sworn in by the mayor or city clerk. On Monday, Aug. 28, a formal swearing-in ceremony will be held, and the new council member will join the full council at the dais for the Aug. 28 meeting.
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