CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - CMPD held a press conference Wednesday morning discussing it’s 3rd quarter crime statistics. It’s no question that Charlotte has seen a violent year, including 85 homicides and other increases in dangerous crime.
Of the 85 homicides, CMPD officers cleared 70% of those cases.
CMPD said 13 homicides were over drugs, 10 homicides were because of domestic violence situations and 24 homicides happened after minor arguments between people who knew each other.
CMPD has changed the way they do police work in reaction to the increase in homicides. The department has focused more on community engagement. CMPD has referred more than 30 young people to conflict resolution to try and de-escalate situations before they turn deadly.
They also announced a 46% increase in arrests of repeat violent offenders, saying 35 more repeat violent offenders were arrested in the first three quarters of this year than last.
Deputy Chief Gerald Smith said CMPD officers are doing great work to get these criminals off the streets, but it’s up to the other city agencies to keep them off the streets.
“We cannot be the only ones in the criminal justice system to bare the load,” said Deputy Chief Smith in regards to the court system, magistrates and DA’s office who decide bond amounts and prosecute defendants.
Chief Putney also spoke on the increase in violent offenders and what the city can do about it.
“You should be asking other people who determine who gets out of jail, who determine when cases move forward. That is beyond our control," said Chief Putney. “I know were doing everything we can. We continue to reach out because we want people to trust this process. But it is frustrating when there are so many barriers to what people perceive as justice throughout the justice system. You need to be asking people who are preventing that. I can say whole-heartedly it’s not police."
WBTV News reached out to both the DA’s office and the Mecklenburg County court system. The D.A.'s office declined to comment. The court system couldn’t provide a comment in time.
CMPD spoke in great lenght about the amount of illegal guns on the streets. CMPD said this year officers took more than 1,500 illegal guns off the streets, which is a 15% increase. They also said 565 guns were stolen from cars in the 3rd quarter, up 18%.
Because of these staggering numbers, in mid-august CMPD launched a crime initiative project to target illegal guns. TO date, that initiative led to 31 arrests and 167 illegal guns seized.
Officers encountered more than 7,900 armed people this year and de-escalated nearly every single one of those situations. Officer involved shootings are down to 3 this year, compared to 4 last year.
Officer complaints are down 18%.