CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has rolled out a series of events designed to increase dialogue among the community leading up to the Republican National Convention in 2020.
CMPD held its first Bridging the Difference seminar, “Police and Community Relations – Support and Accountability,” Nov. 15 at Johnson C Smith University.
Police Chief Kerr Putney said such programs are designed to bring diverse opinions together.
“Make no bones about it,” Putney said. “This is our ground game. This is how we prepare for the RNC in 2020. We know we’re a divided country. In a lot of ways, we know we can be a divided city. We’re trying to show there’s common ground across all perspectives.”
Putney said police accountability is one area the city isn’t as united.
“We want to attack this concept, this conversation head on and find our common ground so that when people do descend upon our city, it’s very easy to see those outliers so we can address them,” Putney said. “When people come from the outside, they can see what we have to celebrate, and we can talk about the behavior we are not going to tolerate.”
Whenever there are issues involving police relations, we find ourselves talking at each other, according to Willie Ratchford, director for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee.
Bridging the Difference is designed to provide an opportunity to begin talking to one another.
“We are looking at the possibility of using conversation as a way to build trust, support and accountability – not only for police officers, but for citizens, as well,” Ratchford said.
Another Bridging the Difference event, “Immigration and the Charlotte Community,” takes place 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at El Camino Church, 201 Stetson Drive. “Police and Community Relations – Bias and Privilege” is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at a yet to be determined venue. RSVP for either event at www.bridgingthedifferencenc.com.
Pedestrian killed in crash
CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is investigating a fatal crash involving a Lexus and a pedestrian at Sharon and Rutherford roads.
Lauren Savage was driving her Lexus northeast in the left-hand lane of Sharon Road when she struck a pedestrian trying to cross Sharon Road to the west, police said. There are no crosswalks in the area.
Police don’t see any evidence of speed or impairment being factors in the Nov. 13 crash; however, they said it was dark and raining.
Call 704-432-2169 for any details about this case.