CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - The Fraternal Order of Police has now voted to hire a lawyer to investigate CMPD’s Police Pledge Fund. The president says they just want answers for their members who faithfully give from their paychecks into the voluntary retirement fund.
Almost half the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department has money invested in this program. FOX 46 Charlotte has investigated the Police Pledge Fund for months after CMPD said there is a “major shortage.”
Members of the Police Pledge Fund tell Fox46 Charlotte they continue to have five dollar deducted from each paycheck. Over their career they are expected to put a couple thousand dollars into the program in hopes of getting more out. Many retirees have still not been paid the money they were promised. The waitlist is two years and growing, according to an email from CMPD.
- "Police Pledge Fund is not a CMPD entity," CMPD defers responsibility of retirement money
- "There is no guarantee": CMPD official says employee retirement fund could go away
- Complaints building, delays growing in Police Pledge Fund
After Captain Jennings, who is president of the board overseeing the fund, interviewed with FOX 46 Charlotte, the department claimed the Pledge Fund is not a CMPD entity and directed us to the city. The city dodged our questions for three months, and then declared they aren’t taking ownership of the program either, saying it’s “an employee organization.”
In an email to members, the Fraternal Order of Police wrote:
Tonight at the membership meeting we discussed the issues we are having with the "non-communication" about the police pledge program. After the discussion, it was voted on for the lodge to allocate monies to obtain an attorney to start a "fact finding" process to get answers from either the city or the department about the police pledge. If the attorney is unable to get satisfactory answers, the membership will be ready to move forward with a class action lawsuit against the city and/or department. We are in the process of finding an attorney to take this case.
For years the fund was controlled by just one person. This past year, a board of five people including Jennings was organized, without ever notifying members.
The Charlotte Fire Association has a similar program called the Death Benefit Fund. When a firefighter passes, ten dollars is deducted from everyone’s pay and within twenty-four hours it’s given to the beneficiary.