CMPD said violent crime is down 12.5%, and they are very proud of that, but there were 110 homicides last year.
"110 people is not an acceptable outcome for the year," Councilman Edmund Driggs said. "It’s not a reflection on CMPD, but it's simply something our city should not tolerate.”
Deputy Chief David Robinson told councilmembers CMPD is trying to reduce gun violence with its new crime gun suppression team, which seized 283 guns last year.
Robinson is also proud of CMPD's mental health initiatives.
In 2022, CMPD doubled its community policing crisis response team from six officers and clinicians to 12. Plus, the department is piloting its "CARES team," which is comprised of two mental health professionals that respond to low-level calls of service.
Robinson said these initiatives are also helping with 911 call response times.
“The measures that we’ve taken to improve the 911 situation have already taken root,” he added.
Amid a vacancy of hundreds of officers, CMPD is hiring civilians to answer 911 calls. Robinson said the officer shortage is a nationwide problem. Across the US, resignations were up 43% in 2021 compared to 2019, according to the Police Executive Research Forum.
In Charlotte, 72 officers resigned in 2022, which is up from 67 in 2021, and 47 in 2020.
When it comes to recruitment, CMPD said it is offering a $7,500 hiring incentive as well as moving costs, and compensation is based on shift. The department is also utilizing a simplified application process as well as national digital advertising.
CMPD said it swore in 151 new hires in 2022 -- up 12% from 2021.
CMPD’s focus for 2023 is to keep reducing violent crime, recruit quality officers, and focus on staff training. CMPD also said it needs to improve response times.
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