Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings announced as next CMPD police chief

The 28-year CMPD veteran will succeed Chief Kerr Putney following the Republican National Convention.
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Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones announced Wednesday that Johnny Jennings will succeed Kerr Putney as Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief. Jennings, who joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 1992, will begin the new position in September.

He was promoted in 2016 to his current rank as deputy chief where he oversees the community services bureau, including crime prevention, school resource officers and several community outreach programs.

“I have had the privilege of observing and experiencing the growth of our city and the department,” Jennings said in a statement. “We have been resilient in managing some of the most challenging experiences and growing from them.”

Jones explained that the position received interest from police chiefs nationwide. Leaders from civil rights organizations, community groups and faith-based organizations provided input as part of the search process, as well as elected officials and fellow officers.

“One of the most important aspects of this search was getting input and feedback from the community and from CMPD officers, which we did before we started to look at candidates,” Jones said. “As we went through this process, it became very clear that Deputy Chief Jennings’ leadership with CMPD has been a key aspect of the department’s success.”

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Jennings led planning and operations for major events such as the NBA All-Star game in 2019. Photo: QCity Metro
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Jennings was instrumental in some of the city’s largest events, including the NBA All-Star game in 2019, Billy Graham’s funeral in 2018, and the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Chief Putney will head the police department through the Republican National Convention scheduled for Aug. 24–27. Putney, a 28-year CMPD veteran, was named police chief in 2015 and announced that he would retire following the RNC.

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