Photo: Kevin Ruck via Shutterstock

The City of Charlotte’s Safety and Accountability for Everyone (SAFE) Plan will be the framework for reimagining policing and public safety, tackling systemic issues and ensuring community equity in the Queen City. Charlotte City Council will vote to adopt the proposed SAFE Plan recommendations at Monday’s business meeting. 

With the number of illegal homicides already at 98 (9 away from 2019’s total) and turbulent police-community relations stemming from the high-profile killings of Black civilians nationwide, city leaders and community stakeholders view the SAFE Plan as a step toward creating a safer Charlotte. 

[Related: Police Reports: 1 dead in University City shooting; officers shot at in NoDa; 2 teens charged with murder]

For the past several months, top officials and city staff worked with residents and community leaders to review the city services that could increase the safety of Charlotte residents. For example, a community input group has met every other week since July to provide reactions and feedback to potential policy changes, programs, budgets, practices and plans related to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Beyond policing and public safety, the SAFE Plan addresses the need for affordable housing, transportation, workforce development and more jobs. 

Six key recommendations of the SAFE Plan include: 

  1. Providing $1 million from the city’s current budget to help Charlotte-based nonprofits address violence in the community.
  2. Working with an external partner to develop a comprehensive recommendation to convert low-risk sworn duties to non-uniform units.
  3. Working with an external partner to provide an independent analysis to include areas such as police-civilian contact and police calls and responses.
  4. Expanding the Community Policing Crisis Response Team (CPCRT) and developing a non-sworn officer responder model for mental health and homeless calls.
  5. Engaging a university or independent organization to evaluate selected youth programs on an annual basis.
  6. Enhancing recruitment efforts and developing a program to provide additional residency incentives to officers living in priority areas, including a down payment incentive.

Community members can share feedback virtually during the public forum segment of Monday’s meeting. Those interested in speaking must sign up by 9 a.m. on Monday. 

Jonathan is a former QCity Metro reporter who covered Charlotte neighborhoods north of uptown. He also reported on education, public safety and health.

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