Facing officer shortage, CMPD heads to Camp Lejeune to recruit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, facing an officer shortage, will head to Jacksonville on Wednesday in an effort to recruit officers from Camp Lejeune.

[READ MORE: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to recruit at in-state military bases]

Even after 28 new recruits just joined the force two weeks ago, CMPD said it is still short 200 officers.

[LINK: CMPD recruitment]

Part of the problem is that the department is losing officers faster than it can hire them. In February, CMPD officers packed a Charlotte City Council meeting to ask for a 15 percent raise across the board, as well as better benefits.

CMPD leaders told Channel 9 that officers are leaving for other cities, like Raleigh, that have a higher starting pay. The Raleigh Police Department was recently in Charlotte, trying to recruit on CMPD's turf.

The Charlotte city manager will present his budget, which includes more pay for officers, next month and council members will vote on it in June.

[RELATED: CMPD uses thousands of taxpayer dollars on officer recruitment]

[CMPD recruits experienced officers to fill positions]

City officials said officer raises could cost taxpayers nearly $22 million. That's on top of the $25 million city leaders are considering for six new police stations.

When CMPD returns from Camp Lejeune, they plan to hit Fort Bragg’s job fair next week.

[CMPD welcomes 43 new officers, still has 157 vacancies]

Channel 9 learned that the department has spent more than $40,000 on advertising and recruitment trips like these since 2016.

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