2023 Mid-Year Public Safety Briefing
Published on July 12, 2023
Charlotte, N.C. – (Wednesday, July 12, 2023) – Today, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) released its Mid-Year Public Safety Report revealing a continued decrease in violent crime year-to-date (YTD) in 2023, compared to the same time frame in 2022.
The CMPD continues to see a downward trend in violent crime. Overall, violent crime is down 8% with declines in every major category including homicides (down 15%), robberies (down 14%), rape (down 26%), and aggravated assaults (down 5%). The reduction of violent crime is one of the CMPD’s top priorities and the department continues to develop result-driven initiatives within our communities to contribute to this effort including:
- Actively seeking input and engagement from the community
- Employing a strategic approach to resource deployment
- Leveraging advanced crime analysis techniques and technology to monitor crime patterns
Crime Reduction Units (CRU) play a vital role in the CMPD’s work to reduce violent crime. These units work tirelessly to identify and target high-crime areas, conduct surveillance and gather intelligence, make arrests, seize illegal weapons and work with our community partners to prevent crime.
As violent crime continues to decline, property crime, and specifically, auto thefts continue to drive up the overall crime rate.
Between January 1, 2023 and June 30, 2023, overall crime is up 11% in Charlotte. The main driver of this increase continues to be auto thefts. The number of Hyundai/Kia car thefts remain extremely elevated both in Charlotte and nationwide due to a social media challenge targeting these vehicles that emerged in 2022. To date, the CMPD has seen auto thefts increase (+143) compared to the same time period last year.
“In fact, if we exclude auto thefts from the equation, both this year and last, the overall crime rate would actually show a decrease of 0.4%,” said CMPD Deputy Chief Steven Brochu.
The CMPD will continue to address this social media trend through enforcement and education efforts. This year, the CMPD held multiple steering wheel lock giveaway events, handing out thousands of steering wheel locks to Kia and Hyundai vehicle owners. The CMPD also urges residents to follow the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Lock your doors and store your valuables
- Park in well-lit areas or areas with surveillance
- Purchase a steering wheel lock
Juvenile offenders have accounted for the majority (72%) of all arrests for vehicle thefts thus far in 2023. Many of the offenders, some as young as 12 and 13 years old, have been connected to multiple vehicle thefts. The CMPD has also seen stolen vehicles by juveniles used in the commission of other crimes including robberies and shootings. To date, the CMPD has recorded 520 arrests in auto thefts, up 91% in 2023. Of those arrests, 373 were juveniles.
Recruitment remains a top priority for the CMPD. The CMPD Recruiting Division continues to look for ways to engage, attract, and hire quality individuals for sworn positions. To date, the CMPD has seen a 10% increase in applications for sworn positions compared to the same time period last year. The Charlotte City Council adopted it’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget which includes a 10.5% salary increase for officers and sergeants as well as the continuation of a $7,500 hiring bonus.
Additionally, CMPD’s Human Resources Division has had success recruiting equally talented individuals to join the department in non-sworn roles, reporting fewer than 25 vacancies out of the 518 non-sworn positions department wide. For more information about CMPD’s recruitment efforts visit JoinCMPD.com.
Recently, the CMPD has seen several legislative victories that will aid law enforcement efforts to curb both violent crime and dangerous trends on roadways.
On Friday, July 7, 2023, Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 813, The Pretrial Integrity Act, into law. The new law goes into effect October 1, 2023. It mandates that judges, not magistrates, set bonds for certain violent offenders who commit one of 18 serious criminal offenses. CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings spent months working with local leaders to advocate for its passage.
Earlier this week, Governor Roy Cooper also signed legislation directly targeting the trend of street takeovers, street racing, and dangerous street stunts. The new bill, Senate Bill 91, goes into effect December 1, 2023 and will increase penalties for participants in this illegal activity. The increased penalties will aid the CMPD’s Transportation Division efforts to crackdown on these meetups. So far in 2023, CMPD’s Transportation Division has made 25 arrests, issued 107 citations, seized 12 firearms and towed 69 vehicles related to this behavior.
On Friday, June 23, 2023, Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 140 into law. The purpose of the new law is to lessen the burden on police agencies statewide, allowing cities to employ trained civilian personnel to investigate traffic crashes involving property damage only. The new law went into effect on July 1, 2023 and the CMPD is developing a plan to implement a new Civilian Traffic Investigators program. The Civilian Traffic Investigators will not replace any of the city’s sworn police officers or reduce the number of police officers employed by respective cities.
The following statistical breakdown below provides an overall snapshot of crime (YTD) in 2023 compared to 2022:
- Violent crimes: 3,406 offenses in 2023 compared to 3,689 offenses in 2022.
- Homicides: 45 in 2023 compared to 53 in 2022.
- Rapes: 109 in 2023 compared to 147 in 2022.
- Armed robberies: 631 in 2023 compared to 733 in 2022.
- Property crimes: 17,873 offenses in 2023 compared to 15,475 in 2022.
- Residential burglaries: 934 in 2023 compared to 1,055 in 2022.
- Commercial burglaries: 909 in 2023 compared to 1,068 in 2022.
- Larcenies from automobiles: 5,319 in 2023 compared to 4,807 in 2022.
- Vehicle thefts: 3,717 in 2023 compared to 1,530 in 2022.
- Arsons: 58 in 2023 compared to 77 in 2022.
Graphics from this morning’s media briefing can be found on CMPD’s Twitter Feed or by clicking here.
To review the full press conference: