• CMPD chief believes new tactics helped drive down crime in 2018


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released its 2018 crime statistics on Friday, saying, overall, crime was down 2 percent across the city.

    [RELATED: Charlotte homicide rate dropped more than 30 percent from 2017]

    CMPD Chief Kerr Putney praised his officers for the fantastic work they do.

    Below is how some of the numbers break down:

    • Homicides: Down 35 percent
    • Rapes: Down 8 percent
    • Violent crime: Down 3 percent
    • Robberies: Down 12 percent
    • Property crime: Down 2 percent

    Putney made sure one thing was clear about the big homicide drop, though.

    "Unless we’re dividing by zero, that number really doesn’t matter,” Putney said. “We should not have any people intentionally taking the lives of others."

    CMPD said it saw an increase in aggravated assaults and stolen cars last year.

    [ALSO READ: CMPD fights crime with program focused on empowering Charlotte youth]

    Putney said there is always work to do but believes the department’s officer training and community engagement is making a difference.

    “Fewer of our citizens were victims of crime in 2018 when compared to 2017, and that’s a big deal,” Putney said.

    He said a large, ongoing focus is training to ensure safe interactions with the public.

    "I want our people to know that, legally, you can only use force to overcome resistance. It's that simple. What I'm imploring the public is, don’t resist. Have your day in court,” Putney said. “So, we’re structuring use of force to focus specifically on that de-escalation concept. We value the sanctity of life.”

    CMPD is hosting ongoing community engagement sessions. The next one is Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Dale F. Halton Theater on Elizabeth Avenue.

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