CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is hoping to add 15 new police officers to the force.
Charlotte City Council gave the go-ahead Monday for CMPD to submit a grant to the U.S. Department of Justice that would pay for the additional officers.
The request for more officers comes during a year where Charlotte has seen 47 homicides in the span of just six months compared to just 23 at this same time last year.
The Community Oriented Policing Services Grant would provide CMPD with nearly $1.9 million over three years to help fight crime.
"People don't know how to talk it out or solve problems without resulting in violence," said ‘Mothers of Murdered Offspring’ Group Administrator Lisa Crawford.
With close to 50 homicides in the span of just six months, it's clear that with the population growth in Charlotte, comes a growth in crime rate as well.
"This year, it's heart-wrenching to think we've already lost 47 human beings in this city from senseless acts of violence," Crawford said. "Our goal is to support families. We are there at the worst hours when things are really bad, and it's a traumatic experience."
Crawford sees first-hand the pain and suffering victim's loved ones endure when a crime is committed.
"We can't give families loved ones back, but what we can give them is justice," said Crawford. "And if the police department is well-equipped and well-armed with enough staff, I have no doubt they can solve these crimes."
The 15 new officer positions would increase CMPD's capacity to implement community policing strategies that strengthen partnerships for safer Charlotte neighborhoods.
"I think it's fabulous anything the police department can do to solve crime and prevent crime," said Crawford. "Everyone in this community needs to be in support of that."
The grant application deadline is July 10.
If CMPD is awarded the grant funding, it will hire the 15 new police officers in fiscal year 2019.