CMPD chief addresses recent electronic monitoring safety concerns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney addressed recent safety concerns Wednesday surrounding suspects on electronic monitoring -- some suspects are committing more serious crimes, despite their electronic monitor.

"I will never say people who are charged with murder should get out on electronic monitoring," Putney said. "I'm hesitant to say people who commit robbery should get out on electronic monitoring."

CMPD said the electronic monitoring program is a partnership between the police department, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office, the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections and the court system to help reduce crime, violence and recidivism.

Putney and the Head of Court Watch, a private organization that monitors courts, pointed out electronic monitoring could be part of the reason the violent crime rate is spiking.

"There is a direct correlation with bad policy and the crime rate going up," Marcus Philemon, with Court Watch, said.

The two men called out two judicial officials, Chief District Court Judge Regan Miller and Kalif Rhodes, the chief magistrate. They said they're making it too easy for dangerous criminals to get out of jail.

Putney said he has tried to meet with Miller.

"I have reached out, and I'm sure there will be a conversation now. There hasn't been any, because I did not get a response,” Putney said.

CMPD said 20 homicide suspects are currently being monitored while out on bond awaiting trial.

The department said 252 people on electronic monitors have had their bond revoked so far this year, and 59 people have cut off their monitors.

In 2018, police said two people were charged with murder while out on bond with an electronic monitor and 25 committed robberies.

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