Deal Lets Towns Take Over Some Police Patrols, CMPD Keeps Others

Oct 19, 2017

Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte are close to resolving who will provide police coverage in the county's unincorporated areas. Police departments in three towns would take over part of the job, while the county is negotiating a contract with CMPD for the rest. 

Map shows unincorporated areas in Mecklenburg County. Matthews is the only one of Mecklenburg's towns without at ETJ.
Credit Mecklenburg County

Since the city and county police departments merged in the mid-1990s, the county has contracted with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police to handle police calls outside the city and town limits.  But county commissioners voted to terminate that contract in April, amid concerns about long response times and other poor service from CMPD.

Huntersville, Cornelius and Pineville want to police their own unincorporated areas, known as extra-territorial jurisdictions, or ETJs.  They think they can do better than CMPD. And they'll now be able to do it under a state law passed by the General Assembly in June. The county will pay for the service through a special ETJ police tax.  

Meanwhile, the county had been considering whether to seek a new deal with CMPD or have the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's department police the rest of the county's unincorporated areas. On Tuesday, commissioners made their decision, voting to give county manager Dena Diorio the go-ahead to negotiate details of a new 5-year contract with CMPD.

The proposed deal calls for the county to pay CMPD $14 million  a year to provide police services outside Charlotte, Davidson and Mint Hill. As with the other towns that will take over policing their own ETJs, the money would come from tax revenues.

If the city and county agree on a final contract, the changes would begin July 1, 2018. The current countywide contract expires June 30.

RELATED DOCUMENTS 

Oct. 17, 2017, Mecklenburg County Commission, draft resolution and details of the ETJ policing agreement with the city of Charlotte and CMPD. (PDF) 

NCLeg.net, General Assembly bill history and text of SB 5, "Mecklenburg Police/Countywide Jurisdiction," which passed in June.