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Posted: 5:16 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012
By Mark Becker
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Charlotte's police chief had just finished cutting the ribbon officially opening the department's newest precinct on the city's southwest side when he started lobbying for more.
"A few years ago we decided that we needed to move out into the community," said Chief Rodney Monroe, citing the new Steele Creek Division headquarters as a perfect example.
The precinct is at the very busy corner of south Tryon Street and Westinghouse Boulevard -- a big change from its old home at the police department's training academy on Shopton Road.
"It's just out in the open where you can see it and to know they're available whenever you need them," said Viness Warren, who lives nearby.
Police had plans for six more of the new stand-alone precincts but they were put on hold when City Council members scrapped the capital budget in June.
Now Chief Monroe says it's time to bring that discussion back.
"It's critical ... These communities need us to be a visible part of the communities not hidden behind warehouses or walls or things of that nature," Monroe said.
Mayor Anthony Foxx has said he wants to bring the capital budget discussion back, and city councilwoman Lawana Mayfield, who helped open the new precinct, said she's on board.
"I believe that will come together and come up with some type of investment plan that will continue to move us forward," Mayfield said.
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