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Pineville Police Department growing, taking division from CMPD

The Pineville Police Chief believes overseeing the area outside of town will allow the department to grow and could keep residents safer.

PINEVILLE, N.C. — The Pineville Police Department is expanding its jurisdiction – taking over responsibility for an area of about 4,000 people currently overseen by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners approved the change Tuesday night. County Manager Dena Diorio explained that this has been done before with the Town of Huntersville and the Town of Cornelius in 2019. 

The Mecklenburg County towns take over policing in their extra-territorial jurisdictions, known as ETJs. The move is meant to grow the towns' police departments and lessen burdens on the understaffed Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Pineville Police Chief Michael Hudgins told WCNC Charlotte's Julia Kauffman he thinks taking over the ETJ is a mutually beneficial solution and should keep residents safer.  

“I think we’ll be able to get resources there more quickly than probably what CMPD is able to do because their station is a little bit further away,” Hudgins explained.

Hudgins expects Pineville PD's response time to the area to stay consistent with its current one of just under four minutes. 

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The ETJ is between McAlpine Creek and Providence Road West and is home to about 4,000 residents, according to the county. It requires Pineville PD to hire six new officers while trying to fill another six openings it already has. 

Captain Corey Copley told WCNC Charlotte that Pineville is working to hire more officers now. 

We have four slated to go to the academy in January and we have four additional officers in the background process,” Copley shared. 

The expansion comes as the department is making several changes internally following the serious injury of a woman that was in its custody. 

Despite concerns regarding the incident, Copley said the department is ready for more responsibility. He explained that they're buying a software called Lexipol that "monitors and update your policies on a needed basis."

Copley said the software also tests officers on a regular basis to make sure they're up to date on regulations. 

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"We're making a lot of really new changes,” Copley said. 

The county is giving Pineville $440,000 for startup costs in 2023 to hire the officers and buy equipment. The next several years of policing the ETJ will be self-funded through property taxes in that area.

The division will be taken over by Pineville Police in July 2023. 

Contact Julia Kauffman at jkauffman@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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