CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - New numbers from CMPD show crime is down in the Charlotte area. Chief Kerr Putney presented the 2018 crime report Friday morning in West Charlotte.
Overall CMPD reports a drop in crime by 2%. That may not seem like a big decrease, but Chief Kerr Putney says the numbers don’t lie.
"Fewer of our citizens were victims of crime in 2018 when compared to 2017,” said Chief Putney.
Overall homicides, rapes, robberies and burglaries were down. There was a reduction in homicides by 35%, but there were still 57 people murdered in the Queen City last year.
"Unless we are dividing by zero, that number really doesn't matter. We should not have any people intentionally taking the lives of others in a criminal way,” said Chief Putney.
Officers out fighting those crimes were also caught in the crossfire last year. Five times officers were forced to use their gun.
Chief Putney reminded the public Friday that of the nearly 10,000 times officers approached someone armed with a weapon in 2018, 99.99% ended peacefully.
"You can only use force to overcome resistance, that's it. It's that simple. What I am imploring the public is don't resist, have your day in court,” said Chief Putney.
Those days in court could have plenty of clear evidence with every CMPD officer now required to wear body cameras.
That rule was adopted by Chief Putney after a suggestion from the citizens review board.
"We wanted every police officer to have a camera that worked, that goes on the minute there is a problem because it is so much easier for everybody to know what's happening if you have that camera going,” said Sandra Donaghy, a member of the citizens review board.
Chief Putney says he hopes to review every officer in 2019 that removes their gun from their holster when approaching a suspect, even if they don’t fire that gun. Chief Putney hopes to show the public how officers are able to deescalate situations without using deadly force.