Local groups support Putney, consider what they’d like to see in the next Charlotte police chief

Local groups consider what they’d like to see in the next Charlotte police chief

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As news of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney’s upcoming retirement spread Monday, some groups that work closely work with CMPD expressed their support of the chief’s plan to officially retire, then return for the Republican National Convention. They say it is comforting.

“If he was just like, ‘I’m out’ and ghosted, then I would be concerned,” Tonya Jameson with the Citizens Review Board says.

But, Jameson says she is not concerned, and she is now looking toward the future. As Putney’s upcoming retirement is official, community members like Jameson are starting to consider what will happen within their circles, in his absence.

As a leader of Charlotte’s faith community, Reverend Dwayne Walker has worked with Putney over the last few years. He says he appreciates Putney’s style, calling him “tested and true.”

What Walker wants to see from the person who fills the chief’s shoes is someone who “gets” the Charlotte community, and all of its nuances that brought it to where it is today.

“[Someone] who understands some of the challenges of a growing urban city like Charlotte, that’s bursting at the seams,” Walker says. “And with growth comes change, and with change comes challenges.”

Within Jameson’s group, the CRB has been working with the Chief on revising the ‘use of force’ policy within his department. Group members are wanting officers to use de-escalation tactics before deadly force. They say Putney has told them he would like to get this revision done in the next few months.

The board says it is now wondering what the future relationship with the department will be in his absence.

“The real question is, when the city council and city manager start interviewing for new candidates, is that they’re going to find somebody who’s willing to work with the citizens review board and look at policies and continue the appeals process and the relationship that we have now,” Jameson says.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.