CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Pineville Police Department and the Pineville Town Manager confirmed that they have been contacted by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office about an upcoming targeted speeding enforcement operation. The police department says they will work with the MCSO deputies when that operation takes place.
This comes several days after a Cornelius Town Council meeting in which Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden was questioned by town council members about a targeted operation along Jetton Road last month.
During that operation, Sheriff’s Deputies issued more than 20 citations for speeding in about 2 hours. Cornelius town council members reported that they were inundated with phone calls from concerned and confused residents.
Sheriff McFadden acknowledged that the communication between his department and local police departments could be better. However, he said his department has and will continue these operations.
“This is not a new policy, this is not something that just came about,” said Chief Deputy Rodney Collins with the MCSO. “We do 3-4 radar targeted operations every month. We have conducted 20,000 traffic stops over the last 4 years.”
WBTV knocked on more than a dozen doors along Jetton Road on Thursday but no one would talk on camera about concerns they had with the operation. Several residents did express confusion about why the MCSO is doing a job that the Cornelius Police Department normally handles.
However, WBTV did hear from a number of residents who were very pleased with seeing an increase in law enforcement presence.
“We have a 14-year-old and and 10-year-old and we don’t let them go to the park alone because we are afraid to let them cross the street,” said Theresa Colella, who lives along Jetton Road. “They had, what, 23 tickets in a couple of hours? That just shows you how fast people are going down that road.”
“Our neighborhood welcomes the increased presence of law enforcement of any branch! We rejoiced in seeing the focus on making our streets (and sidewalks) safer by controlling the speed on a road that directly engages pedestrian traffic,” said the John Argenta, the President of the Jetton Cove Homeowners Association. “I’m hopeful that the visibility of the officers will make drivers who ignore safety and speed limits think twice about speeding in Jetton. On behalf of myself and our community with extend our sincere thanks to all of the officers for their help!”
This week, Sheriff McFadden and his department said a similar targeted operation will take place in Pineville in the near future.
“Yes, we are aware that the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office is planning on coming to Pineville in the near future for the reasons you mentioned. This isn’t anything “separate “ because we have often worked with outside law enforcement agencies (to include the Meck County Sheriff’s Office) on numerous projects such as DWI checkpoints, license checkpoints, and Click-it-or- Ticket campaigns,” said Lt. Corey Copley with the Pineville Police Department. "We value our law enforcement counterparts and we all come together from time-to-time to enhance the safety of our Pineville community.
The Sheriff spoke to the media on Wednesday but declined an interview on Thursday with WBTV. However, the Sheriff’s Office did respond to several questions.
“There has been no reallocation of staffing in the Sheriff’s Office Field Operations Division,” the department said in a statement Thursday. “Targeted speed enforcement operations, DWI checkpoints and checking stations checkpoints aren’t about revenue. These operations have always been and continue to be about promoting roadway safety.”
The Sheriff’s Office went on to say that they have increased their presence in the community, not through staffing changes but by being more deliberate and intentional about their engagement.