CMPD help makes education a virtual priority

With the coronavirus outbreak shutting down school, many teachers and students need to rush to navigate to virtual learning. Some Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department officers, cadets and employees are stepping out of their patrol cars to sit down and give free online assistance.

“As a father, at times I see the struggle as we’ve transitioned to online teaching,” CMPD Officer Ryan Botzenmayer said. “We’re excited to work with youth and families in our community to give academic support.”

CMPD has a consistent presence in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools through its outreach and engagement programming. As the school year begins to wrap up, CMPD is offering free academic support to area students.

The program covers a broad range of topics, including math, English, science, reading, history and Spanish. A Zoom video call connects a student directly to a CMPD employee who will navigate students to a breakout room of their desired subject where learning begins.

Originally, the program was opened to help facilitate learning for some existing CMPD youth mentoring programs, but this beneficial learning platform is now open to all students who need extra guidance.

“As a police officer, this gives us an opportunity to work with our city’s youth,” Botzenmayer said. “We wanted to see what we could do to help. Some people see us as just enforcement, but we really try to impact the community and solve issues.”

For many economically disadvantaged students, the lack of in-person classes could cause students to fall even further behind. The effort by CMPD is to assist students who can use extra help as the school year comes to a close.

“This learning could have a positive impact to bring up a student’s grade through online learning,” he said. “We’re here to help, and we hope we might be able to continue the program through the summer.”

The program is easy to access for students and there is no need to preregister.

  • A zoom site will be available Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3 p.m. until June 9.
  • Once they have entered the site, the student will be asked which subject they need assistance in: math, English, science, reading, history or Spanish.
  • From there, they will be navigated to a one-on-one session with a CMPD officer, cadet or employee.

CMPD would also like to bring other community partners into the program who might be able to assist in some subjects like math.

Additional assistance is available by appointment by emailing Botzenmayer at or Deon Wimbush at

As the community learns to depend on each other more and more, this resource couldn’t have come at a better time.

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