Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is stepping into the podcasting arena and hoping to show a less formal, more human side of law enforcement.
On Thursday, the public affairs department will debut CMPDcopcast, a weekly 30-minute podcast where three officers and a civilian will discuss timely issues along with interviewing local newsmakers.
“We want to be able to give people more information and just reach a different type of audience that maybe we’re not reaching,” said Yolian Ortiz, CMPD’s public information specialist who represents the civilian of the group.
That means having co-hosts who reflect the diversity of the community. Along with Ortiz, a Hispanic woman, the show will also feature Detective Brandon Miller — a Black man — and Captain Brad Koch and Officer Jeffrey Page, both white men.
“We’ll be talking about those differences and how we still come together to make this work,” Ortiz said.
Detective Miller is a native Charlottean who grew up in the Hampshire Hills neighborhood in east Charlotte. He said being a familiar face gives him a bit of an advantage when establishing rapport with neighbors.
“Once I became an officer, I actually patrolled that community,” the 10-year veteran explained. “Now that I’m in a position to get feedback from the community, and then voice it out over the air in this in this capacity, I feel like that’s going to be a really good tool where community members can voice their concerns to us.”
While they hope some conversations can be lighthearted, Ortiz says the team won’t shy away from tough topics like the recent mass shootings and Charlotte’s rising violent crime rates.
“We’re hoping that our community gives us topics that they want to hear about, and we want to be as open as we can as part of the transparency,” she said.
CMPDcopcast will be available for iPhone and Android users. To subscribe, search for the “City of Charlotte” podcast in your app store.
Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.