CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Major questions about the future of safety and security in the Queen City have arisen since Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney announced his retirement plans.
NBC Charlotte learned the chief will be retiring in January yet return in the spring to help prepare for the Republican National Committee in August.
Putney acknowledged the big change in an internal CMPD video that was posted to YouTube.
"January 2020, I am going to officially retire through the state system," Chief Putney said in the video.
NBC Charlotte is looked into any potential impacts to the Queen City, particularly leading up to the RNC in 2020. In a previous interview, Putney said one goal for the RNC is to avoid clashes with protesters like what happened in September 2016 after the officer-involved shooting death of Keith Scott.
"We have been making some progress over the last few years having conversations about it, nipping around the edge, talking about implicit bias and so forth but this is a deeper dive into that," Putney previously said to NBC Charlotte.
The chief has spearheaded some major initiatives, including changes to the use of force policy, which are still in progress.
On Tuesday, a department spokesperson said the chief’s retirement will not impact the effort because it's already near completion, and there are several other key players involved in making the changes. The spokesperson said Putney plans to announce the updated policy before the end of the year.
After retiring in January, Putney plans to return to help the city through the RNC.
"We have more work to do, to prepare, plan, and execute that plan for the Republican National Convention," Putney said in the YouTube video.
City council member Tariq Bokhari expressed complete confidence in the process.
"I don't think anyone is concerned that a very short hiatus in the middle of the next 11 months is going to cause any problems," Bokhari said.
At this point, it’s not clear who will take over for Chief Putney when he retires. However, CMPD currently has several other high ranking members, including two assistant police chiefs and four deputy chiefs.