New chief's first day moves fast

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe spent his first day on the job in motion, hustling from meetings with the mayor to the city manager to his command staff – some of whose jobs might change.

Monroe, 51, has shaken up staff in cities where he previously took over as chief. He said he hasn't decided what changes he'll make, but hinted he might put more officers on patrol.

“Patrol is our backbone,” he said in a news conference Monday at CMPD headquarters.

Monroe reassigned veterans and dismantled specialty squads in Macon, Ga., and Richmond, Va., to put more officers on the street.

He takes over a department of 2,092 staff – including 1,627 sworn officers – and a budget of $174 million. He spoke to about 100 commanders and staff for the first time Monday, asking them to introduce themselves, then joking: “Now that you have told me all your names, trust me, I've forgotten them all.”

Monroe promised to continue his longstanding practice of showing up at crime scenes. “Oh, yeah,” he told reporters. “And so should the men and women in uniform expect to see me out on the street.”

Greg Lacour