Crime & Courts

CMPD getting safety upgrades at police headquarters, new University City station

Police stand outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters in 2017 during a memorial honoring fallen officers in Mecklenburg County.
Police stand outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters in 2017 during a memorial honoring fallen officers in Mecklenburg County. LaVendrick Smith

Charlotte City Council on Monday approved nearly $1 million for safety upgrades to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters on East Trade Street.

Upgrades include ballistic resistant doors and windows, a larger public vestibule, a new customer service counter and waiting room and minor electrical and mechanical updates. Catalyst Construction Company Inc. is under contract for the $950,280 project.

CMPD previously increased security in the lobby in January 2018 after a homicide suspect sought by the department attacked officers in the headquarters parking lot. Jonathan Bennett, 23, shot one officer in the leg before police shot and killed him.

The attack, which Police Chief Kerr Putney described at the time as an ambush, prompted the department to lock entrances to the main lobby at all times, only accessible by key card or clearance from an officer.

Council on Monday also approved a more than $9.5 million contract with Miles-McClellan Construction Company Inc. for the new location of CMPD’s University City Division Station at 8452 N. Tryon St.

The division will move into the planned 16,081-square-foot facility from its current site at 8401 University Executive Park Drive.

Council member Greg Phipps, who represents District 4 where the station is located, said the division had the highest number of calls for service in all of CMPD and the most traffic crashes.

“It’s good to know we’re getting to the point where we’re closer to construction,” he said. The project is expected to be completed in late 2020, he said.

This work was made possible in part by grant funding from Report for America/GroundTruth Project and the Foundation For The Carolinas.

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Lauren Lindstrom is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer covering affordable housing issues. She previously covered health for The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, where she wrote about topics including the state’s opioid crisis and childhood lead poisoning. Lauren is a Wisconsin native, a Northwestern University graduate and a 2019 Report for America corps member.
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