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700 attend Charlotte-Mecklenburg police foundation lunch

More than 700 law enforcement officials and business leaders gathered Wednesday at the Westin in uptown Charlotte for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Foundation’s annual spring luncheon.

The police foundation is a non-profit organization that for years has provided money to support police department initiatives, including DNA equipment for the crime lab, fire extinguishers for all police cars and a major-case crime scene truck.

Several of the area’s top law enforcement leaders were at the lunch, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Chipp Bailey and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Anne Tompkins.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the foundation,” Monroe said. “The things we’ve been able to do are phenomenal.”

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Bomb Squad Unit was recognized at the luncheon for their years of training that enabled them to respond to 58 calls of potential incendiary devices during the Democratic National Convention.

On average, the unit disarms six devices each year and has a perfect track record, foundation board chairman Frank Golden said to open the luncheon.

The foundation had been planned to recognize the CMPD bomb squad even before the Monday explosions that killed three and wounded more than 140 at the Boston Marathon finish line.

“It makes it that much more appreciated,” Golden said.

Bob Woodruff, the ABC News correspondent who was seriously injured in a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006, gave the keynote address at the lunch.

Woodruff’s speech focused primarily on his career as a foreign correspondent for a national news agency, and on his recovery from his injuries in Iraq. He thanked the police officers in attendance and also touched on the recent bombs in Boston.

“"I am nothing but filled with hope about what we can get through in these difficult times,” Woodruff said.

A ticket for a table, which sat eight people, cost $3,000. All proceeds from the event will go to support foundation programs.

Event sponsors CPI security systems and Wells Fargo also presented checks to the foundation. CPI donated $75,000, and Wells Fargo wrote a check for $25,000.

Steele: 704-358-5067 on Twitter: @steelecs
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