CMPD meets all ‘8 Can’t Wait’ police reform policies, one of few departments in the country

CMPS utilizing '8 Can't Wait' police reform initiative

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Over the course of the summer, there’s been a nationwide call to reform police policy.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department says they’ve been listening and have adapted new policies which make them compliant with the “8 Cant Wait” initiative, which calls for more restrictive use of force policies.

Those policies include:

  • Bans Chokeholds and Strangleholds
  • Requires De-escalation
  • Requires Warning Before Shooting
  • Requires Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting
  • Duty to Intervene
  • Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
  • Has Use of Force Continuum
  • Requires Comprehensive Reporting

CMPD already had several of these in place, but now can say they have all eight.

Chief Jennings says this is just the beginning when it comes to community input directing police policy.

“It’s a new era," said Chief Jennings. "Our policies can’t be made in a vacuum. They have to be made with input from the community, input from other agencies we work with and input from groups and organizations likes campaign zero.”

After calls for police reform, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department changed five use of force policies, including: banning chokeholds and strangleholds, restricting shooting at moving vehicles, requiring exhaustion of all other means before shootings, duty to intervene, requires comprehensive reporting, according to the 8 Can’t Wait website.

“This is very pleasing to us as a department and an agency to be able to meet that. The community’s voice is certainly something we’re taking into account when looking at our standard operating procedures," said Chief Jennings.

According to Chief Jennings, Charlotte is one of only 10 cities across the country to fully adopt all 8 of the policies. Some of the other large cities who have all 8 include Denver and Los Angeles.

But Jennings says they’re not done yet.

“Where else can we go with this, what are some other directions we want to look at beyond the 8 cant wait campaign?" Jennings asked. "Because we feel like there’s more out there and more we can do to get better as an agency.”

There is already some movement on what’s next. The city is partnering with Cure Violence’s violent interruption program to identify people in the Beatties Ford and La Salle neighborhood to help prevent violent crimes.

The goal is to treat violent crime like a viral pandemic. Those violence interrupters will work in the community to idenfity people who could cause trouble and help redirect them to resources and better alternatives.

“For so long, its always been a police problem and what are the police going to do about it. And police have always said we need help," Jennings said. "When you see the city and county, public leaders and officials that we have, that are taking that initiative to say we own this too.”

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