With another change to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department "standard operating procedures" Chief Monroe has taken dead aim at his own Police Reserve Unit.
The seldom quoted General Custer once said "There's nothing like friendly fire to motivate the troops"
Over the last half century or more, Charlotte has benefited from a "Police Reserve" unit that functioned autonomously inside the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. This department within a department had its own rank structure, including its own chief of reserves.
All of the CMPD Reserve Police Officers are sworn law enforcement officers.
Many of the reserve force are retired CMPD officers, others have left their full time careers at other North Carolina Law Enforcement agencies including the N.C. State Highway Patrol. But equally many of the CMPD reserve officers come from a broad mixture of occupations and backgrounds from within our community, these officers are citizens who have taken the time and training necessary to become reserve officers.
These 70 volunteer police officers provide Charlotte and Mecklenburg county with over 15,000 hours of service each year without pay.
In a clear effort to disband or disable the CMPD reserve force Chief Monroe has issued another sweeping "Standard Operating Procedure" directive.
Included in the shake up is the requirement that non-cmpd officers will be striped of their rank that they may have earned through years of service as a reserve officers.
Currently there are several reserve officers who have worked more than 25 years on a part time volunteer basis and have earned the right to ranks as high reserve commander.
Two years ago the CMPD Reserves promoted Ted Cormier to Reserve Commander and Bill Strain to Reserve Sergeant, But under Chief Monroe's new doctrine some reserve officers like these will be demoted back to the rank of patrolman.
Chief Monroe has offered these volunteers an out, if they don't like the new rules and demotions they can retire with their current title and rank, no hard feelings.
At present there are no less than ten reserve officers who are facing demotion and reduction of rank. None that Cedar Posts has spoken with plan to stay on are reserve officers.
In the past CMPD reserve officers could work as many as 20 "special" events during the year, often these events were small community charity events like the annual Humane Society Pet Palooza, or the Cop on Top event. The "new" rules require that they work four of six "special" events during the year, and one of these events must be either July 4th or New Eve.
But the Chief forgets these are "volunteers" many who have full time job and families, by dramatically reducing the number "Special" events and making a requirement that each reserve office pick four of six limits the flexibility normally afforded unpaid volunteers.
One additional change that is sure to cause even more departures is Chief Monroe's new requirement that reserve officers revert to wearing the non-standard "reserve officer" patch that was discontinued many years ago.
In the past suspects upon seeing the "reserve" label wrongly assumed that reserve was just another name for "mall cop" with no arrest powers, of course nothing could be further from the truth. But perception is the reality and in law enforcement, perception is often the difference between compliance and altercation.
This is why the word "reserve" was removed from the reserve officer patches in the first place.
It seems Chief Monroe is again making changes just for the sake of change, often without a hint of common sense or recognizing that years of past experience is why some things are the way they are.
The new SOP takes effect February 17th and Reserve officers have 30 days to change to the new (errr old) patch.
Chief Monroe's changes comes on the heels of a Fox News Rebecca Clark's report that noted the praises of the CMPD Reserves: CMPD's Reserve Unit Saving Us Money :
Prior Cedar Posts About CMPD Chief Monroe:
Charlotte's Thomasboro Neighborhood Grant Money Gone with the Wind?
Charlotte's Police Chief Exposed!
Where is Charlotte's Outrage over Rodney Monroe's fake College Degree?
Union Head to Chief Monroe: Don't Let the Door …
Prior CMPD Directive regarding reserve officers here (opens in a pdf file)
The CMPD Reserves By-Laws that Chief Monroe has "by passed"
A view from the other side Charlotte Law and Civil Rights Examiner where the story line goes "The Charlotte Observer's vendetta against the new police chief that has made the Queen City safer continues. First, it was the validity of his college degree, an irrelevancy given his sterling decades long record police chief in Richmond, Virginia."
The writer is of course confused "about his "decades long" record. But it's still worth the read to understand the other less informed side.