Ride Along: A look at CMPD’s hefty bet on community policing

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The Charlotte City Council is set to approve almost 2.5 million dollars to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. The funding will go toward doubling the size of one of the Department’s most successful divisions, the Community Policing Crisis Response Team.

“So far, we’ve had 12 police departments within the state reach out to us because they want to model the program that we’ve got,” said Captain Brian Sanders, CMPD.

The CPCRT has already assisted thousands of individuals since its start in 2019.

“The goal is to not incarcerate people that need that help. The goal is to put them in a place and, and get them the help that they need. So the successes are just really unmeasured at this point,” Sanders explained.

Currently, CMPD has 6 teams consisting of one mental health clinician and one officer on each of them. But if approved tonight, there will be 12 teams.

“Our officers are trained in crisis intervention, that are assigned to the unit, but we have clinicians who have a lot of education, master’s level and higher. So they see the difference when the clinicians are speaking to them,” Sanders said.

CMPD is recruiting officers within their Department to join the team, as for clinicians, Sanders said they are conducting a nationwide search. The Department hopes to have the positions filled by December.

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