CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is facing a shocking number of officer shortages that are connected to some of the biggest issues within the department. 

CMPD told NBC Charlotte they currently have 206 openings across the entire department. Of those vacancies, 181 are for officer positions. 

In February, an NBC Charlotte Defenders investigation learned that almost 40 percent of CMPD's divisions aren't meeting the goal to respond to emergencies within seven minutes. During a three-week span in December, the Defenders learned there were about 600 911 calls with no officers immediately available. 

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"It's only going to get worse if you follow the same trend," said officer Daniel Redford during a Charlotte City Council meeting. 

Redford said pay raises have been insufficient for officers at CMPD. He called on the city council to improve benefits and boost pay. According to CMPD, the city council approved a 6.5 percent raise but Redford said many officers didn't see that much of an increase.

"Many officers just got a two-percent raise, that's it," Redford said. "Several have already left and we know of 78 who will retire."

CMPD has started a robust marketing campaign in an effort to recruit new officers to the Queen City. They also have several events coming up where they'll go out to colleges in North and South Carolina to recruit new officers. 

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