"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by editorial board member, Jess Sessoms.
The city of Charlotte recently changed Police Chiefs. And if we’re lucky, we won’t notice a whole lot of difference – right away.
Outgoing Chief Rodney Monroe led the force for seven years before retiring a couple of weeks ago.
Although his tenure began with a bit of controversy over academic qualifications, Chief Monroe settled in nicely to his new position.
He was often seen out in the field with his fellow officers, reassuring concerned citizens that the Police force was there to serve and protect everyone.
During Monroe’s tenure, crime statistics improved in many areas.
And he led us peacefully through the city’s hosting of the Democrat National Convention in 2012.
Incoming Chief Kerr Putney is a 23-year veteran of the police department, and is, indeed, the first officer to be promoted through the ranks to the force’s top position.
Chief Putney says he has no immediate plans to radically change what has been working well.
But we’re sure he’ll be his own man and will seek to improve the force and its relationship with the public wherever he can.
He will face some challenges. Putney will be in charge as Officer Randall Kerrick goes on trial for a police-involved shooting from 2013.
And, he’ll usher in a new era as every patrol officer will begin wearing body cameras.
As we begin a new administration within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, we thank former Chief Rodney Monroe for his dedicated leadership,
and we wish new Chief Kerr Putney great success.