Monday March 30, 2009 the Charlotte Observer reported that the Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer who was involved in a wreck that killed a 20 year old woman Sunday was driving his patrol car more than 90 mph to a routine traffic stop, according to Police Chief Rodney Monroe.
Monroe said witnesses told police that the vehicle driven by officer Martray Proctor did not have its blue lights on. He said the department, which is investigating the incident, does not believe the sirens were activated.
Shatona Evette Robinson of Davidson died in the wreck on Old Statesville Road and her three passengers were injured. They all had left the hospital by this afternoon.
If the above information is correct it is pretty clear the officer is in the wrong.
But questions remain, conflicting reports abound and some answers given by Chief Monroe may have been premature.
One thing is for sure Chief Monroe did not waste any time in throwing Proctor under the CATS BUS and the Charlotte Observer jumped all over the story of a rogue officer with a history of speeding.
As one poster pointed out in the comments section below, the Chief doesn't know CMPD policy and during the original press conference misspoke on several points.
Which prompts the question where are the CMPD spin doctors that Chief Monroe hired at a cost of $200k or more?
Here's the Emergency Response policy per the CMPD web site:
DIRECTIVES Emergency Response 600-021
Effective Date 02/05/04
The purpose of this policy is to provide officers with guidelines for responding to emergency situations.
The Charlotte - Mecklenburg Police Department is committed to promoting public safety.
Officers responding to an emergency must continually balance the need to remain engaged in an emergency response against all known risks posed to the general public and the officer.
Under proper circumstances, officers are authorized to engage in an emergency response, but must always drive with due regard for the safety of the public, and will use the skills, principles and concepts of the Smith System of driving.
Officers operating any City vehicle will wear the vehicles equipped seat belt properly fastened around their body.
Officers will always have the Mobile Video Recording system (video and audio) on and
recording while engaged in an emergency response.
Emergency Response: Operating a police vehicle in response to either an emergency call received from a dispatcher or to any situation where the officer can articulate a threat of serious injury to an officer or a citizen; Also includes whenever an officer attempts to catch up to another vehicle that would require the officer to either drive while exceeding the posted speed limit or drive in a manner not normally permitted by the law.
A. Only those officers dispatched in response to an emergency call for service by
communications personnel, a supervisor, or the officer on the scene requesting
assistance, may respond with activated blue lights and siren.
B. An officer, while operating a vehicle in emergency response, will do so with due regard to the safety of others. The speed of an officer engaging in emergency response will be reasonable and prudent and take into consideration the following factors:
1. The need for the emergency response versus the risk to the public and officers.
2. Seriousness of call for service (severity of the offense or violation) and officer’s knowledge of previous incidents.
3. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
4. Proximity of the officer to the actual location of the emergency call for service.
5. Time of day, road conditions and environmental concerns such as weather and
6. Type and condition of police vehicles involved.
D. An officer must operate both blue lights and siren when engaged in an emergency
response in order to be exempt from traffic laws. Whenever blue lights and siren are
deactivated, the officer will comply with the posted speed limit and all traffic laws.
E. Vehicles not equipped with both blue lights and siren will not be operated as an
emergency vehicle. Operators of vehicles not equipped with both blue lights and siren
must always obey all traffic laws.
F. Upon approaching a controlled intersection or confronted with traffic congestion, the officer will reduce the speed of the police vehicle. Police vehicles using blue lights and siren will not proceed through an intersection until the officer is sure that all traffic has yielded the right of way to the police vehicle.
G. Officers will always operate blue lights and siren under the following circumstances:
1. At anytime the emergency response requires the officer to travel into opposing
traffic. Officers required to travel into opposing traffic will do so in a safe and
prudent manner with due regard for the safety of the public.
2. When attempting to catch up to another vehicle that would require the officer to
exceed the posted speed limits or to drive in a manner not normally permitted by
3. While attempting a u-turn in traffic for the purpose of attempting to catch up to
another vehicle or to respond to any emergency call for service.
H. Upon arrival at the scene of a call, the responding officer will rapidly evaluate the situation and determine whether additional units are needed or whether other units responding can cancel their emergency response or cancel their response to the call for service.
Directive 400-005 Mobile Video/Audio Recording Equipment
Directive 600-022 Pursuit Driving
CALEA 41.2.1, 41.3.3 and 41.3.8