Safety, Trust & Accountability

As part of the letter, we committed to strengthening relationships and trust between our residents and law enforcement so that the community is protected and public safety is maintained across the city, while also reviewing policing policies and practices.

Youth Diversion Program

Addresses the community’s need to keep low-level youth offenders out of the juvenile justice system by providing an alternative to arrest while holding the participant accountable for their offense.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • CMPD Diversion Program has diverted an average of 700 youth per year.
  • 90 percent of participants successfully completed the program and have not recidivated.

COPS CARE & CARE Curriculum

COPS CARE is designed to target eighth-grade students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) with the following message: make positive choices for positive outcomes because COPS CARE and youth are worth it.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • During the CMS 2016-2017 school year, the COPS CARE curriculum reached six middle schools and approximately 900 students.
  • In its inaugural year, COPS CARE was awarded Program of the Year by the N.C. Gang Investigators Association.
  • For the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, CMPD will expand the program into 26 CMS middle schools, impacting approximately 5,200 eighth-grade students.
  • The CARE curriculum will continue to be utilized as a follow-up to COPS and Kids.

COPS CARE Survey Results

  • 84 percent (769 of 916) say they can resist the pressure to join a gang.
  • 96 percent (877 of 916) are able to distinguish a gang from other groups.
  • 96 percent (775 of 804) indicate a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities.
  • 81 percent (653 of 804) know how to formally compliment or complain about an officer.
  • Additionally, teachers from five of the six schools were surveyed and 91 percent (10 of 11) indicated that the presentation was “excellent”, 9 percent (1 of 11) indicated that the presentation was “good.”


REACH OUT is a collaborative effort of CMPD, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, and Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice to provide the necessary services and resources to change the lives of youth offenders ages 16-21 post-arrest for non-violent felonies.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • Program started July 2016 with 44 participants, 40 of whom are currently employed.
  • 39 have completed the life skills and job training portion.
  • Implemented conditional discharge for non-violent felony offenders through consultation with the District Attorney’s Office. This allows participants an opportunity to plead to a lesser charge, avoid deferred prosecution fees and the stigma of a felony record.

High School & REACH Academies

The High School Academy (HSA) is an opportunity for students interested in law enforcement careers to experience a week at the CMPD Training Academy.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • Students also learn other skills including team building, leadership and decision-making.
  • HSA provided 183 participants an opportunity to learn more about the law enforcement profession through educational presentations, hands-on demonstrations and practical exercises.
  • REACH Academy held one female (21 participants) and two male (18 participants) academies.

Youth Symposium

The High School Academy (HSA) is an opportunity for students interested in law enforcement careers to experience a week at the CMPD Training Academy.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • Students also learn other skills including team building, leadership and decision-making.
  • HSA provided 183 participants an opportunity to learn more about the law enforcement profession through educational presentations, hands-on demonstrations and practical exercises.
  • REACH Academy held one female (21 participants) and two male (18 participants) academies.

Envision Academy

The Youth Envision Academy is an eight-week immersion opportunity that exposes area high school youth to work experiences at various Charlotte area businesses, non-profits and government agencies. The academy aids them in making informed decisions about future career opportunities as they envision their futures and the future of Charlotte.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • 25 youth were provided a stipend for their successful participation in the program
  • Eight themed weeks of internship style interaction between youth, organizations and police officers
  • Exposure to arts, government, education, sports entertainment, history, the environment, health and human services, media and CMPD.
  • Private funders donated $45,000 to support this effort
  • Partnerships in this effort include: Bank of America, Hugh McColl, City of Charlotte CRC, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Shawn King, Harvey B Gantt Center, Second harvest Food Bank, Crisis Assistance Ministries, JCSU, UNCC, Queens Univ, CPCC, Beasley Radio, NASCAR, Sustain Charlotte, Charlotte B-Cycle, MCSO, Levine Museum of the New South, McGuire Nuclear Station, Latta Plantation Nature Center, Teen Health Connection

COPS and Kids

Chief Putney initiated an open youth forum with high school students to bridge the gap between youth and police through meaningful, face-to-face discussions regarding citizen/police interaction.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • Chief Putney visited 10 high schools to talk candidly with students regarding officer and citizen encounters.
  • One hour assembly of 100-300 students.
  • Approximately 1,500 CMS students attended.
  • Chief Putney will continue the COPS and Kids forums with a projection of 19 CMS high schools through the 2017-2018 school year.

CMPD Partnership with Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP)

MYEP was founded in 1986 to improve neighborhood quality of life through community engagement strategies that ensure children are safe, succeeding in school and supported by the community. CMPD hosts interns for this eight-week program which includes a unit assignment, a ride-along and an exit presentation.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • CMPD served as a host site for 39 MYEP students
  • CMPD interns were divided into three groups of 13 and rotated three times during their internship. This afforded interns the opportunity to participate in the many different facets of policing. CMPD host sites included: 13 patrol divisions, Animal Care & Control, Public Information Office, Computer Technology Services, Electronic Monitoring, Real Time Crime Center, Police & Fire Academy, Crime Prevention, Youth Engagement, Records and Volunteer Unit.

MYEP CMPD Intern Survey Results

  • 100 percent would recommend this program to a friend
  • 100 percent rated their experience as “excellent” (six) or “ very good” (10)
  • 88 percent felt the working atmosphere was “openly supportive” of their placement
  • 81 percent believed the internship provided a “better understanding” of their career goals
  • 81 percent learned “a lot”

Body-Worn Cameras (BWC)

CMPD implemented the use of Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) in April 2015 with rollout in September 2015 to assist in monitoring emergencies, identifying training and policy deficiencies, and to promote trust, transparency and accountability. CMPD considered best practice policies from other law enforcement agencies and input from the American Civil Liberties Union and Police Executive Research Forum in the development of a BWC policy.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • In addition to BWC worn by officers assigned to patrol duties, the CMPD issued BWC to officers for off-duty employment, tactical officers (SWAT and VCAT) and expanded the issuance to all sworn employees below the rank of deputy chief in June 2017. To maintain the confidentiality of minors, school resource officers will not wear a BWC, and to maintain the integrity of operations and to avoid jeopardizing the safety of officers, covert undercover officers will not wear a BWC.

President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing/ Response to Activists’ Demands

On Dec 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing to make recommendations on the delivery of policing services. The report, issued on May 18, 2015, consists of 59 recommendations organized around six pillars.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • After the September 2016 officer-involved shooting, various activist groups provided CMPD with a list of demands to enhance police-community relations. CMPD incorporated many of those demands into the recommendations made by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing under the associated pillars to include action items where needed.

Police Foundation draft of the critical incident review

In 2016, the City of Charlotte invited the Police Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-membership driven organization, to facilitate community dialogue and to review its policies, procedures and response to civil disorder incidents.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • The assessment included on-site data collection, resource material review and off-site data collection and research.
  • CMPD continues to work diligently to improve safety, trust and accountability.
  • The Police Foundation’s assessment team found that during the demonstrations, CMPD acted appropriately and in line with its policies and procedures.
  • CMPD displayed professionalism and restraint as it endeavored to balance First Amendment rights of the protesters against the safety of the community and its officers, according to the Police Foundation’s findings.
  • The Police Foundation also identified areas in which CMPD could improve its policies, practices and operations to strengthen the department’s relationship with the community it serves through 35 recommendations.

Community Safety Forums/Town Hall Meetings

Community Safety Forums provide face time between the Chief Putney and community members.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • Chief Putney hosted a community safety forum in each of the 13 patrol divisions in 2016 and continued the forums in 2017. During these events, CMPD shared crime information and embraced difficult conversations.

Cops and Clergy

This is part of an ongoing series of discussions to foster an open, honest and meaningful dialogue on race relations and community engagement between the police and members of our faith-based community.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • Chief Putney hosted the inaugural “Clergy Conversation with the Chief” in 2017.
  • CMPD seeks to unite multiple faith houses in a collaborative effort around youth engagement initiatives.

Transparency Workshops

CMPD Transparency workshops are designed to provide the public with a behind-the-scenes look at the police department to help them better understand CMPD processes, policies and practices.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • CMPD Training Academy has held six transparency workshops from January to September 2017.

COPS and Kids Learn Spanish

COPS & Kids Learn Spanish builds stronger relationships and better communication between Latino youth, their families and participating officers as Spanish-speaking youth teach officers to speak Spanish. The program is hosted by area congregations and averages 25-30 youth and 15 officers.

Key Accomplishments/Milestones

  • Youth led initiative teaches the youth leadership and public speaking skills
  • Connecting law enforcement with individuals who may be fearful of the police or deportation
  • 118 participants
  • One-third of the CMPD Youth Symposium participants on June 3 were youth from this program
  • Three youths from the program are now CMPD Explorers

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