Deputy chief retiring from CMPD

After nearly 30 years as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, Deputy Chief Jerry Sennett is retiring.

Sennett, who began his career in Charlotte in 1979, supervised about 1,200 people. He's been responsible for school resource officers, police chaplains and the department's crime prevention division. He also has supervised several specialized units, including law enforcement at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Sennett was instrumental in the reorganization of the department in 2007, when a division of officers was added to support the growing University City area. He also led the development of a crime-mapping system that identifies Charlotte's trouble spots for police to target.

“It has been an honor for me to spend 29 years at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and to be a part of the department's evolution into one of the finest urban police departments in the country,” Sennett said in a statement Monday. “I have had the privilege of working with talented and dedicated officers and value the relationships that we have built with the community.”

Sennett's colleagues describe him as a “by the book” kind of guy who is forthright when answering questions and dealing with the city's public safety challenges.

Chief Rodney Monroe called his skills an “asset” that will be missed.

His last day is Nov. 1.

Sennett's departure means the department has two open deputy chief positions, which will be filled in November, Monroe said Monday.

He also is working to fill a newly created chief of staff position in the next few weeks.

The person would provide him day-to-day support and oversee everything from media relations, the police attorney, internal affairs and human resources.

The chief confirmed Monday that 26 people from outside the department have applied for the job, which is not a sworn position. Among them is Ray Tarasovic, a former assistant chief who worked for Monroe in Richmond, Va.

Officials have narrowed the pool of qualified applicants to about 5 and plan to begin interviews Friday, the chief said.