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After targeting speeders in Cornelius and Pineville, deputies are headed to South Park

Under the leadership of Sheriff McFadden, Mecklenburg County deputies will be ticketing speeders at Fairview Road and Colony Road. It follows efforts in Pineville and Cornelius that prompted backlash and talks of white privilege.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just weeks after receiving backlash following targeted speeding enforcement in Cornelius, Mecklenburg County's new sheriff is turning his attention to South Park.

The sheriff's office said deputies will be ticketing speeders Saturday at Fairview Road and Colony Road. It follows another effort in Pineville last Saturday.

"They had one close to 60 miles per hour in a 35," Mecklenburg County Chief Deputy Rodney Collins said of last weekend's enforcement. "We just want people to slow down."

While it's easy to assume sheriff's deputies just serve papers, that's not the case. The longtime sheriff's office employee said Mecklenburg County's stopped 20,000 drivers over the last four years. 

Not only that, Chief Collins said the law allows deputies to patrol in every city and town, in every corner of the county.

"Just expect to see more of the sheriff's office out there visible, doing their jobs," the chief said.

The added enforcement comes six weeks after the department's efforts to target speeders on Jetton Road around Lake Norman in Cornelius resulted in backlash and prompted the sheriff to raise the issue of white privilege. 

The enforcement in Cornelius, which took place on the same day as the NBA All-Star Game in Uptown, resulted in a debate with racial undertones.

"If we wrote tickets somewhere else, I would not be standing here..." newly elected Sheriff Garry McFadden said during a recent Cornelius meeting. "...It's about privilege. It's an African-American sheriff making a difference in this city and this county."

In the weeks since, the sheriff's office has continued trying to make a difference in other parts of the county known for speeding or too many crashes. 

After ticketing 21 drivers in Cornelius in February, deputies turned their sights to Pineville last Saturday along South Boulevard and Main Street, citing 51 people in just a matter of an hour, according to Chief Collins.

While the new sheriff isn't shying away from proactive patrols, there will be more advanced notice moving forward. The chief said the Town of Cornelius found out about last month's patrol about an hour-and-a-half before it started.

"As a professional courtesy, it's the responsible thing to always notify someone that you're going to be in the area," he said.

Since December, deputies have made more than 600 traffic stops, according to MCSO.

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