Charlotte has a new police chief. Long-time CMPD veteran Kerr Putney took the oath of office before the city council Monday.
When Mayor Dan Clodfelter announced, “You are the chief,” the crowd in the packed city council chamber cheered.
Putney started in Charlotte 23 years ago as a CMPD patrolman, moving up to deputy chief in 2007. City manager Ron Carlee touted that experience.
“We know him, we know he is the right person to provide leadership for the future,” Carlee said.
In the past two years, Putney has taken a more public role in the department in front of media and city council. Carlee appointed him less than a month after former Chief Rodney Monroe’s retirement announcement.
Putney, who like Monroe is black, takes over at a time of heightened national tension between police and the minority communities they serve. He lists three main focuses.
“Crimefighting, community engagement and partnerships, professional development,” he says. “It’s just that simple.”
Among the first challenges is next month’s voluntary manslaughter trial of former officer Randall Kerrick. He shot an unarmed black man, Jonathan Ferrell, 10 times in 2013.