CMPD Chief: Increased security over 'Extraordinary Event' declarations

- Changes may be coming to how folks enjoy festivals in Charlotte this summer. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said he wants increased security instead of extraordinary event declarations. 

On Tuesday night the chief said he would like to see less free-flowing festivals and events in uptown, and more with designated entrances.  

The days of walking off the street and into a festival without being screened, may be over. Dozens of festivals are held in uptown Charlotte every summer, drawing tens of thousands of people to one place at one time. 

Now, terrorism around the world has CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney rethinking what's best to keep Charlotteans safe. 

"Our issue is people want to do large scale harm to events where there are massive people," Chief Putney said. 

In 2012, the City of Charlotte came up with the extraordinary even ordinance that banned a long list of items that could cause serious injury if thrown. 

Now, Chief Putney wants City Council to throw out that ordinance. Instead, police would step up security at all events, creating borders both with manpower and vehicles, and keeping an eye on everyone by only allowing festival-goers to enter at designated points. 

"Free flowing people who bottleneck in certain areas increase the risk to public safety."

Speed Street last month was a test of CMPD's new security procedure, but a forum Tuesday night, other festival organizers learned about the changes for the first time. 

"It would have been great to have these conversations with community organizations that hold events in this city before going about this process. Even before this forum. It would have been great to be consulted."

Chief Putney said the changes needed to be proposed quickly. 

"I have said before what happens nationally impacts us locally. Now what happens globally impacts us locally as well," he said. 

Repealing the extraordinary event ordinance must still be voted on by Charlotte City Council.

Event organizers Tuesday said they haven't taken a stand for or against the changes, but instead hope to learn more by meeting with CMPD. 

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