CMPD Chief Monroe will use private donations to fund body camera - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CMPD Chief Monroe will use private donations to fund body cameras

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In just a few months, expect to see Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers wearing an extra set of eyes on their uniforms.

Chief Rodney Monroe requested money from the city to pay for the cameras, but his department is getting a lot of help from a group that pays for police equipment without costing the taxpayer a dime.

"How do you create more accountability within your department?" Monroe told WBTV.

That is a question Monroe asks himself almost every day and soon, there will be a new way to answer it.

"Having our officers out there with body cams not only provides the level of trust within our community, but from a technology perspective it gives us a lot more," he said.

Monroe asked the Charlotte City Council for $250,000 to pay for the cameras, but he'll actually put  $500,000 worth of cameras out on the street. Where's the other $250,000 coming from? Monroe says it comes from a group called the Charlotte Police Foundation. Private companies make up the foundation and raise donations to pay for the equipment.

"We step in when there's not enough money or special needs come up," said board member Ken Gill, who is the founder of CPI Security.

Former Carolina Panther Jordan Gross is also on the foundation board in his spare time. WBTV caught up with him at CMPD Headquarters as he checked out the mobile crime lab the foundation helped fund.

"It's a no brainer for me to be part of a group that helps make their jobs easier, and helps make their jobs better," Gross said.

The mobile crime lab, DNA equipment, body cameras, ankle bracelets and even fire extinguishers in police cars are all partially funded by the foundation.

They (foundation members) understand. They get it. They are able to act with a much greater sense of urgency than sometimes what your normal budget process would allow," Monroe said.

The foundation will hold its annual luncheon next Wednesday, May 14th.  America's Most Wanted host John Walsh will be the keynote speaker. All proceeds from the lunch go directly to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Click here to learn about the foundation.

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