Confusion over emergency response on Lake Norman

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CORNELIUS, N.C. - Cornelius leaders told Eyewitness that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department failed to show up after a dangerous boat crash on Lake Norman.
 
That boat crashed around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
 
A homeowner heard the crash, ran toward the water and called 911.
 
Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis said the call was routed to Charlotte.
 
"Charlotte confirmed they had no one on the lake at that time," said Travis.
 
He said a sergeant was supposed to call back and let them know when to expect an officer, but that never happened, so Cornelius sent someone.
 
The man on the boat died of a heart attack.
 
Travis wants CMPD to respond to every emergency call and be on a boat within 15 minutes. He also wants to know when officers are on the lake and when they aren't.
 
"You would think our 911 call center instead of having to call we should have the schedule," he said.
 
CMPD issued this statement: "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's commitment is to ensure public safety on the lake. We have always worked with and will continue to work with adjoining agencies asking for assistance. If there is any tangible evidence that we're not accomplishing that goal then we as an organization need to be made aware of these facts so we can review our operating procedures and make any necessary adjustments to provide the best possible service to lake residents."
 
Travis said the county should consider giving Cornelius police money to patrol the lake. He said they could give better service at a lower price. Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham agreed.
 
"They shouldn't have to pay extra for private security when they pay taxes to Mecklenburg County," said Cotham.
 
The county manager and city manager in Cornelius, along with police from both departments, are slated to meet Monday to talk about the matter.