Reaction to Hiring of New Police Chief

The city's new police chief is getting high marks from his former employees, but what about his new ones?

Tonight, officers and Charlotte residents are speaking out about the hiring of Rodney Monroe.

Due to a much publicized increase in property and violent crime, residents really got involved with the police chief selection process...even demanding and getting a public forum to question finalists...and now that Monroe's been selected...residents are really patting each other on the back.

"We're ecstatic," said Charlotte resident Christy Wright, who says if citizens could have voted in a police chief race Monroe would have been their man. "He's got a record for being tougher on crime than I think historically we've been."

But even though this wasn't exactly a democratic process, residents like Laurie Nelson believe they played a role in Monroe's nomination. "Prior to this selection, it was a secret appointment and I think it's every single person's voice that made a difference," she said.

She said that through unprecedented public pressure, like last month's march and the finalists' forum, residents demanded and ensured Monroe got the job.

Monroe's popularity stems from a strong rep for reducing crime. He was the happy subject of lunchtime discussion in South Charlotte today.

sot 29 25 00 "For every citizen, regardless of race, I think it embodies a time of change. I think it embodies a new movement where all of our fears and all of our frustrations will have a chance to be heard and overcome."

Publicly, CMPD officers are upbeat as well, like University Division's Dave Johnson who said, "Everything I've heard has been positive, so we're really looking forward to it."

Grier Heights Community Officer Bryan Scharf seemed indifferent to the new chief. When asked if he was excited, he responded flatly, "Sure."

From a police perspective, if there is one drawback to Monroe, it is the fact that he's an outsider. The men and women on the force work really hard to get promoted from within and a situation like this can dim their hopes a little.

But still, above all else, officers want a smart, tough chief, and they seem to think that's what they've gotten with Monroe.