Council meets privately to discuss police chief hire

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe announced that he will retire effective July 1.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe announced that he will retire effective July 1. tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte City Council members, City Manager Ron Carlee and Mayor Dan Clodfelter met in closed session Tuesday to discuss potential candidates for police chief, according to a statement from the city.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe, who has led the department since 2008, announced his retirement last week after a tenure marked by steady crime reduction, including a record low homicide total.

His retirement is effective July 1, although he has said he is considering City Council members’ request that he stay longer.

The city’s statement did not identify the candidates to replace Monroe.

“The city manager will continue the conversation with the mayor, council and community leaders on this critical recruitment,” the statement said.

Since last week’s announcement, speculation has swirled about Monroe’s potential replacement, with many in the community saying the new chief should come from within CMPD. Such a move, proponents say, would allow CMPD to continue successful crime reduction efforts without any change in tactics.

The city has indicated that the new chief will likely be an internal hire.

Council member Claire Fallon, who heads the city’s community safety committee, told the Observer on Thursday that she has urged Carlee to hire Kerr Putney, the longest-serving of the department’s five deputy chiefs. He oversees training, the crime analysis division and the communications division.

Putney stood in for Monroe last July on a panel that explored police relations with residents in the wake of controversial shootings. He’s also been the public face of the department when controversies arose about officer-involved shootings or police misconduct.

Police and others have expressed support – or at least respect – for Putney. Even those not ready to back one person say they’d prefer an internal hire.

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Twitter: @CleveWootson

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