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CMPD Chief Welcomes Expanded Role for County Sheriff

Tom Bullock and Logan Cyrus
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney, left, and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney says he has no problem with Mecklenburg Sheriff Garry McFadden's desire to expand law enforcement beyond the traditional role of the sheriff's office.

"If any entity in this county wants to be a force multiplier, welcome to the party," Putney said at CMPD's weekly news conference with reporters Wednesday. "I think it's a benefit to the community."

Putney told reporters that he met with McFadden earlier Wednesday morning.

"I believe as long as we're continuing to work as partners to prevent crime, which is our mission, and to make people safer, I welcome it. I appreciate it, actually," he said. "If he wants to involve other sheriffs in the region to do work collaboratively, let's go."

Mecklenburg County sheriff's deputies recently have conducted traffic sweeps around the county, and McFadden said in an interview with WFAE last week he wants deputies to do more.

"Traffic enforcement, community engagement, programs in schools. We want to do everything. Just almost like CMPD except we will not be answering 911 calls," McFadden said.

"I think that down the road a couple of years from now, I would love to assist the surrounding townships with their investigations," he continued. "When they have crimes going on in the neighborhoods, homicides in a neighborhood, we could also assist them. My background is law enforcement and investigation and I think that we could definitely help our brothers and sisters around the county."

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.