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CMPD Chief Putney To Retire July 1

WFAE/David Boraks

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney will retire on July 1 — about two months ahead of schedule.

City officials made the announcement Monday afternoon. Putney had planned to retire after the Republican National Convention, but the main part of the convention is being relocated to Jacksonville, Florida.

"The RNC is not coming in the capacity that we thought, and to be quite frank with you, I can control my own destiny, and that's what I'm doing," Putney said.

Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings – who was already announced as Putney's successor – will take over.

The announcement came on the same day as a mass shooting in northwest Charlotte early Monday and after weeks of protests against systemic racism and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Putney said his retirement announcement had been planned for weeks and was unrelated. 

Putney has been chief since 2015 and has been with the department since 1992. In May, the city announced Putney would retire in September, but at that time there were still plans in place for the main part of the RNC to be held at the Spectrum Center in August. 

Initially, Putney had announced last fall that he'd retire at the end of 2019 and come back for the RNC, but that plan was scrapped after the state treasurer said it woldn't work. 

Putney said Monday he's not looking into another chief job, but that he planned on doing some consulting work in Charlotte and speaking out on police and community issues.

"I have a voice you're going to hear more of," Putney said.

Dash joined WFAE as a digital editor for news and engagement in 2019. Before that, he was a reporter for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia, where he covered public safety and the military, among other topics. He also covered county government in Gaston County, North Carolina, for its local newspaper, the Gazette.