CMPD's Putney Calls Off Retirement

Dec 6, 2019

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said today he won’t retire on Jan. 1 and will continue as chief at least through the Republican National Convention in August.

File Photo: CMPD Chief Kerr Putney, November 2019.
Credit Michael Falero / WFAE

Two months ago, the city announced that Putney would retire at the start of the year and take two months off. He would begin collecting retirement, and then return as chief in March and stay through the RNC.

But the state treasurer’s office said Putney can’t collect his retirement if he intends to return to work.

The city tried several times to get state treasurer Dale Folwell to change his mind and allow Putney to return as chief on a part-time basis.

But Folwell refused.

And Putney decided to change his plans.

"I intend to retire," Putney said. "But it won’t be January 1 of 2020. And here’s the deal. It became a big distraction. I was just trying to do what so many others before me have done. Take a break. Relax. Refocus and reengage. Still going to relax, but I’m not to retire to do so."

Putney said he still plans on taking some off in January, but it will be regular vacation time.

The chief was asked if, by not retiring on January 1, he is leaving money on the table.

"There’s no doubt I’m leaving money on the table," he said. "But it’s not about money. Right now, as long as my people are OK, we’re going to conquer everything ahead of us and we’ll have a fantastic preparation and execution of plan for the Republican National Convention, and then I’ll decide what’s next."

The chief did not definitely say if he plans to retire after the RNC.

Putney also announced  that CMPD will no longer accept people charged with homicide into electronic monitoring.

The chief said those suspects should be in jail while awaiting trial.

"Moving forward we’re not going to accept homicide suspects onto EM," Putney said. "So from now on they are either going to have to be held in jail, or the judge is going to let them out. But we can’t in good faith allow for our people to monitor people who are charged with murder. That just does not make good sense."