CMPD Chief Putney To Retire At Year's End, But He'll Return To Lead RNC Security

Oct 7, 2019

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney plans to retire at the end of the year, but will return in the spring to lead the department through the 2020 Republican National Convention. 

Chief Kerr Putney
Credit Twitter.com/chiefputney

The news came after Putney met in a closed session with the Charlotte City Council Monday afternoon, before the council's regularly scheduled strategy session. 

The plan is for the chief to take two months off, then return in the spring. City Manager Marcus Jones plans to name an interim chief until Putney comes back. He would resume his role as police chief to help the department prepare and then oversee security for the Republican convention, which is scheduled for August 2020 in Charlotte.  

After the convention, he would depart and a permanent replacement would be named. 

Putney had said previously he would wait until after the RNC to retire. It wasn't known Monday why he changed his plans.   But Mayor Vi Lyles said after the session that Putney told the council he is "tired." 

"I also think you can be tired as a police chief. And I think all of us recognize that. And when he says it's important for him to take a break to be with his family, I believe that," Lyles said.

"He's come through some of the toughest times in our city, continuing that now. And so what we wish Chief Putney is a little bit of rest and welcome him back next year," she added. 

In a statement, Jones said: 

“Chief Putney made a commitment to Charlotte to lead our security efforts during the RNC and I know that is important to him. Because of his experience with the city’s efforts for the DNC in 2012 and his involvement with the current RNC planning, I want him to return and believe this approach gives us the best opportunity to host a more successful RNC for our residents, business community and visitors while also helping Chief Putney meet his personal commitments.”

Putney has been with CMPD since 1992, when he started as a police officer. He was promoted to deputy chief of police in 2007, and became police chief on July 1, 2015.

Under state law, Putney could resume employment after 30 days but he would be limited to 1,000 hours for the year, as a retiree. 

CMPD plans a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the transition.  

Steve Harrison contributed to this report.