The search for the next police chief

The Observer editorial board

Any hiring manager wouldn’t mind being in City Manager Ron Carlee’s spot right now.

After losing a popular and successful executive in retiring Police Chief Rodney Monroe, Carlee has at least one highly regarded candidate ready to step in.

That candidate is deputy chief Kerr Putney, according the Observer’s Cleve Wootson.

Putney has the respect of people inside and outside CMPD. He has solid experience as the longest-serving of the department’s five deputy chiefs. He also has a strong relationship with the community as one of Monroe’s point men following officer-involved shootings and police misconduct.

The latter is important. Putney would clearly be attentive to the kind of public outreach under Monroe that has helped Charlotte avoid the turmoil seen in other cities after police shootings.

All of which is surely why City Council member Claire Fallon told the Observer she has urged Carlee to hire Putney pronto.

But at this point, Carlee would be better off conducting a national search for Monroe’s replacement. If there’s a candidate even better for the job than Putney, wouldn’t he and council members want to know that?

If there’s not, then Carlee – and Charlotte – are very lucky indeed.