CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) Chief Kerr Putney says that trust and morale need to be established within the ranks of the department following the mistrial in the voluntary manslaughter case against Randall Wes Kerrick.
Putney would not say if the state would order a new trial, but told WBTV that his heart goes out to the Kerrick family and the family of Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot 10 times by Kerrick.
During our one-on-one conversation, the CMPD chief said two of his main goals are improving morale and establishing trust.
"We're a family, so we don't always have to agree," he said.
MOBILE USERS: Click here to see Chief Putney's full interview
Putney, who has been on the job for less than two months, also said that he was proud of the way his department handled protestors who demonstrated in the streets after a mistrial was declared.
However, he feels attention needs to be devoted in healing internal division.
He has already engaged officers to be part of a departmental advisory council. Their goal is, Putney said, "Helping me to advise, analyze, and assess and improve our policies."
He also said, "I think this has unearthed some division that was there anyway, and now we have to deal with it, talk through it get a better understanding and work to address it."
The chief said it's too early to determine what Kerrick's fate will be with the department, but in the short term he wants to build bridges of understanding.
"I think at the end of the day we have to establish a work environment where there is some trust," Putney said.
Chief Putney makes it very clear that Randall Wes Kerrick has unfinished business with the City of Charlotte.
Before determining if Kerrick is reinstated or terminated following last week's mistrial, the city's top cop says the North Carolina Attorney General's office must decide if the man accused of killing Jonathan Ferrell will ever head back to court.
"That can give us some indication how we can move forward administratively and when," Putney said. "And that process will occur soon thereafter."