CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they're implementing a plan to better fight crime as summer gets underway.
"This organization is committed to fighting crime and preventing crime," Chief Kerr Putney said during the department's weekly press briefing. "We need the community to step up and assist us."
The Summer Initiative
CMPD plans to extend the workday. Chief Putney says the department will use money from a federal grant to cover overtime costs.
The Chief says officers can sign up to for overtime and work in areas of the city that are 'hot-spots' to help fight crime and do community engagement.
The department is also expanding bike patrols and walking beats.
Chief Putney says he wants officers to be in high pedestrian traffic areas so they can be visible and help people feel safer. The department believes foot and bike patrols help prevent crime, give high visibility, and officers are able to move around more.
"It's being able to truly know your community and those who are in it. So you know who goes and stand out," Chief Putney said. "And the other big thing is people feel safer and more comfortable when they can approach you and have that conversation. It's about the humanistic element to it but the preventive, high visibility is really what we're after."
CMPD says so far this year, the department has had 46 homicides.
- 34 of the victims knew their killers.
- 11 of this year's homicides were domestic-related.
- 8 were robbery-related.
- 7 stemmed from arguments.
- Another 7 were drug-related.
- Police say about half of the victims were between the ages of 18 and 34.
- 37 of the victim were black.
- 34 of the suspects are black.
- 17 of the suspects have previous arrest charges.
- 2 of the suspect this were previously arrested for murder.
- 34 of the cases involved a gun.
CMPD says violent crime is trending down compared to the start of the year.
The chief is hoping the summer initiative will be an added value for communities.
"The goal is city-wide. Right now we're moving for the summer but the goal is always city-wide," Chief Putney said. "Lots of areas conducive to the type of foot patrol and we're going to implement them as we bring on more resources."