CHARLOTTE – Johnny Jennings will lead the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department starting in September.
Since joining CMPD in 1992, Jennings developed a paid internship program; oversaw events such as the NBA All-Star Game and Billy Graham’s funeral; and coordinated with federal, state and regional partners for the Democratic National Convention.
“I have had the privilege of observing and experiencing the growth of our city and the department. We have been resilient in managing some of the most challenging experiences and growing from them,” Jennings said. “We will continue to face challenges as the city continues to grow and evolve. I’m humbled to be the next police chief and lead the CMPD during these times.”
The hiring process included input from key stakeholders and community groups. More than 500 CMPD officers provided input through an anonymous survey.
“This process was very competitive and reflects the fact that CMPD is one of the top police departments in the nation,” City Manager Marcus Jones said.
The upcoming vacancy drew interest from police chiefs across the country, but through this process, Jones said it became clear Jennings’ leadership with CMPD has been key to the department’s success.
Jennings will succeed Kerr Putney, who has been CMPD police chief since 2015 and joined CMPD in 1992. He promoted Jennings to his current rank of deputy chief in 2016.
Putney describes Jennings as “a man with an unwavering commitment to professionalism, integrity and leadership.”
Mayor Vi Lyles said Charlotte has a history of hiring police chief who bring the perfect skill set needed for a particular time in the city’s development.
“Deputy Chief Jennings has a background in leading several community outreach programs, which makes him an ideal fit for growing our community policing initiatives and building public trust in our police department,” Lyles said.