Charlotte City Council Moves Forward With Budget Despite Attempts to Move CMPD Funds
CHARLOTTE, NC – The Charlotte City council is closer to approving the $2.6 billion dollar budget for next year. During a meeting on Thursday, the council discussed possible changes to different line items. Some on the council questioned funding for police training. But ultimately, the budget passed the first amendment process relatively unchanged.
“I think it’s a good thing. that’s what the community has demanded and I’m glad we’ll be able to deliver it,” said Chief Kerr Putney with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.
Two Million dollars for CMPD to carry out crisis intervention training is safe after the idea to move half of the funding was voted down.
Councilman Braxton Winston proposed using police funding to give council members a pay raise. That idea failed.
Lawana Mayfield tried but failed, to pull CMPD training funds to support development in west Charlotte. She says she isn’t convinced the money is being used appropriately by CMPD to train officers in crisis intervention.
“Voluntary is not good enough. We want to make sure all of our officers are properly trained,” said Mayfield.
When asked if crisis intervention training would be made mandatory, Chief Putney didn’t give a straight answer.
“Our goal is with our partners. We’re going to fully explain how that should work from experts in that field. I’m not an expert in mental health. they are,” said Putney.
He says all officers receive some form of mental health and first aid training. Not all receive crisis intervention.
Mayfield pointed to the shooting death of Danquaris Franklin by police in April. It happened outside the Burger King on Beaties Ford Rd.
CMPD confirms that neither Officer Wende Kerl or Officer Larry Deal had crisis intervention training.
“That incident ends in loss of life and then you’re told, well they didn’t have the proper training. Why didn’t they? Because everyone should have it,” said Mayfield.
The council voted to keep the CMPD training money as is. Mayfield says the accountability is now on the public.
“That’s up to the community to pay attention to how those tax dollars are being allocated because your council voted for it,” said Mayfield.