Residents focus on student safety, relationships with police at Town Hall Meeting

Charlotte residents were laser-focused on student safety at bus stops and in school, as well as the relationship between the community and the police at a Thursday evening Town Hall Meeting. 

Respectful, responsive and real were the rules of the meeting. Representative Chaz Beasley says he wanted to hear from the community but also let people know that their elected officials are focused on their concerns.

"That's the way that you actually get changes done especially when it comes to new legislation the way we find out about these problems and find out if they need a legislative fix is by hearing from these people,” Representative Beasley said. 

"I just wanted to hear what their priorities are and obviously you heard it it's community safety and more importantly, you heard it, school safety. People are worried about the safety of their kids and I get that, I understand it,” Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney 

Dwayne Heigh says he wanted to ask questions that would empower the community he lives in and invests in. 

"I was very curious about how they were going to start screening people. It's very important that kids come to school to learn and not feel like their coming to a jail or a club,” said Heigh. 

Several questions were aimed at community policing and how cops are building relationships in the neighborhoods they patrol. 

"Higher visibility from us, more of these conversations to make sure people know that we're taking it seriously and we are asking for volunteers. Be visible, help us be a force multiplier for us, show up at the schools, be a nosey neighbor and help us make this community safer, that's the message I want people to take away,” Chief Putney said. 

Representative Beasley says there needs to be a critical focus on road needs especially after a student was struck a killed.

"In many cases when we've sent concerns like that to NCDOT they've gotten an answer to us pretty quickly. So, they have a process in place to figure out road improvements and lighting improvements so we have to make sure those things rise to the top of their list,” said Representative Beasley. 

Chief Putney says CMPD is getting ready to measure improvements with a community survey. he says they've come a long way but there's still a long way to go.