Saturday, July 9, 2011

CMPD Blue Hornets

It might surprise you that Charlotte has a new baseball team, made up of some pretty top notch players, many who played competitive baseball during their high school and college days.

In fact the team is doing pretty well in their first season, with a 6-1 record that might go to 7-1 depending on the outcome of today's 10AM game in Charlotte.

It's also surprising that the semi-pro team doesn't generate a lot of press.

Members of the CMPD Blue Hornets and Chicago Finest
April 9, 2011 at Knight's Stadium Fort Mill, SC

CMPD Blue Hornets Baseball club, is a team "comprised of fully sworn officers" from all divisions of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The team takes it's name from the phrase the "Thin Blue Line" that represents the men and women of law enforcement who stand between the criminals and the law abiding public and the area's historic revolutionary war skirmish against British commander General Cornwallis who wrote that Mecklenburg was “A Hornets Nest of Rebellion”.

According to the team's web site their Mission is to "give officers an outlet to play competitive baseball while raising funds for non-profit organizations" . The web site futher states: "Our goal is to establish program reliability that will open more opportunities to participate in local and national tournaments, charitable fundraisers and community events."

The team's face book page adds this: "The CMPD Blue Hornets were formed to allow fully sworn members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to play competitive baseball on the local and national levels. In addition to giving it our all on the field we will be playing to raise monies for different Charities. 2011 will be the Inaugural season for the Blue Hornets whom are the only officially recognized baseball team of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg P.D. "

CMPD Blue Hornets Logo By Ryan Trammell

If all the facts check out CMPD officers that play for the team, are doing so only during their off duty time and must provide for their own insurance.

Yet a couple of items have floated to the top, first there are reports that the funding for the Blue Hornets, and believe me putting a baseball team on the road is not cheap, has come from police seizures. That is the Autos, cash, guns and other items seized during the commission of a crime most often involving drugs that are claimed by police and used to fund drug interdiction operations, support youth and anti gang efforts.

Officially the formal CMPD line is: "If the money seized by police was used to facilitate or represents proceeds of a crime, the CMPD can request the forfeiture of that money. If the money is awarded to the department, those funds can be used for training, equipment or other purposes deemed appropriate by the Chief of Police with City Council approval."

Yet scouring City Council Minutes there seems to be no such request or approval of city council for a first class baseball team.

Who pays for the team's equipment, uniforms, and travel expenses? When the team travels to New York next month will they fly first class or hit the road like most "Single A" teams riding the team bus?

You might recall a rather odd request back in the early spring where Chief Monroe asked for permission to spend some insane amounts on a new mobile crime lab truck, and other items. Remember, Charlotte City Council members sat mute, with councilman Andy Dulin asking the only question.

You don't suppose the CMPD Blue Hornets were a part of the "other"?

Sunday Update: The Observer didn't take long to catch up to the story, though I suspect they either had this story in a drawer, or it is a 'PR" response to the question of finances. But check it out here.


Anonymous said...

Why don't they just give ALL forfeiture money DIRECTLY to charities?

The Observer needs to do a story on EXACTLY how much money cmpd takes in on forfeitures every year and where that money goes......they would be SHOCKED!

It is like Rodney's own personal slush fund.....

And I find it really hard to believe that members are providing their own insurance and are not being compensated for their higher premiums.

Ditto with not practicing or participating during "working hours"....I mean, come on....

And aren't there really much better ways for forfeiture money to be spent?

And I would like to know EXACTLY how much money is taken in by the team and distributed to "charities"!!!!!

Just another pet project of rodney' of MANY!

If the public knew where all the forfeiture money went, they would be outraged!

The question is are there any records kept of what goes in and what goes out? Are there line item accounts? Or is it just a general , "rodney approves so spend" category?

Honestly, uniforms, equipment, hotels, travel, food, etc........
and they are saying they will MAKE money for charities?
Again, come on..."..

Anonymous said...

Even though the Blue Hornets represent the police department, in no way is it funded by tax-payer dollars and must rely on each players own contributions and/or donations. Each team member plays on their own time either on their day off or using their own vacation time. Your sponsorships and donations will assist in covering costs of uniforms, registration fees, equipment, and other miscellaneous expenses currently covered by players. The financial support from our sponsors will permit the program to continually gain momentum in not only being competitive on the field, but being able to match and achieve the fundraising efforts of other baseball organizations throughout the country.

Depending on the sponsorship rank that you prefer we have several advertisement packages you can utilize if you so choose. Tax-deductable donations are being accepted on behalf of the baseball club by the Great Balls Of Fire Foundation. You can either mail your donation in or we can make arrangements to pick it up.

The above is from the "official" we are to believe that the players are TOTALLY funding this venture?? Really??? Truthfully???
And the Board of Directors is not listed?

Strange contradictions.....

Anonymous said...

why the multiple sentences stating only "sworn" personnel? ..another way to drive the wedge further between the civilian members of the department and the sworn "gods" in blue......"oh i am so special because i went through the academy"......

Anonymous said...

I want the entire budget of the police department, line item explanations, especially the "in" and "out" of forfeitures to be accounted for. That is NOT money belonging to the people currently spending it. That is taxpayer money, which we are sorely low on at this time.
Time to write to Council, Mayor, and City Manager and ask them what they are doing with their oversight responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

I would bet the farm RoMo took the money that would have supported PAL and Gang of One and used it to fund the team. Then he took the grant money that came in and "restored" funding to PAL and Gang of One while making himself out as the hero.

That's the way RoMo "Rolls"

Anonymous said...

Which grant specifically?

Anonymous said...,,,,,,,,,,,

Speaking of taxes and oversight, 501 (c ) (3) corps are required to file taxes as well as board statements.

And information about police spending is all on record, even if Mayor Foxx and Council wouldn’t talk about it on camera.

Anonymous said...

Okay Cedar. This is a bit low for you.

I know you don't censor the morons who post but there are a few things that jump out here.

The 1st ranter is a dumbass.

The 3rd post is...a jealous dumbass or at least one who couldn't get into the academy.

...alright. I give up. I'm a dumbass for posting but you should do more followup. CMPD has a Hockey team, a Football team and several softball teams.

A few of us ride bikes on city streets and when struck by a car, pay with our own insurance.

Maybe we all shouldn't write when we're impaired...or clouded with hate.

There is plenty wrong with CMPD. This however, is a chickenshit story.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:01: I'm not CedarPosts or either of the ones you call jealous dumbasses, so could you help us out and simply answer where the CMPD sports team funding is coming from?

Also, was there a grant that had funds diverted because of Gang of One or PAL money that was not where it was supposed to be?

Also, how is all of the forfeiture money allocated?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:18

Well, all you did was call a few people names and didn't really answer OR clarify whobis the "dumbass"' as you so eloquently put it?

"A few of us ride bikes on city streets and when struck by a car pay with our own insurance." What does that mean ?
If you are a bicycle cop and pay with your own insurance, you really are a dumbass. If you are a civilian riding a bike, why wouldn't you use your own insurance, or the person that hit you would pay if they were at fault, WTH?

Maybe you should just be quiet if you can't contribute or offer any answers.

NOT a "chickenshit" story when it potentially involves funds that are being misused or misdirected........Dumbass.

Cedar Posts said...

Anonymous 11:01

I'm all in favor of the team, I think its a great idea. In fact I'm pretty darn envious since I never had the speed for the mound or the distance for the outfield.

I played with a funny looking glove at first base most of high school and have the chipped tooth and letters to show for my effort.

I also have enough smarts to know that "all proceeds go to..." is a pretty empty promise unless there is some accounting to back it up.

There is no way that this team is funded only by players and sponsor donations.

Are there any sponsors?

So I'm really looking for some answers, some accountability and truth.

Honestly if isn't funded by the department in some way I'd be disapointed.

Charlotte has a big department it wouldn't take much to fund the effort, just get it out in the open.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:18 said he thought it was hard to believe Officers provided their own insurance. The reference is made to remind you that Police do things on their off time. One Officer was riding his bike to work and struck by a car. Biking is a sport to some people. Groups of Police meet at the Whitewater Park to Mountain Bike. Is Anon 1:18 demanding to see the books for that.

I thought the Budget was a public item. Go look. Asset money? It has loose rules but has to go to equipment, overtime or training. it is still accounted for and can't buy the Chief a new car...He could however seize one but that is another story for another time.

Anonymous said...

Cedar you think a baseball team is shady, wait til you hear that RoMo promoted Bellamy to Major. And that isn't the worst..... just wait for it.

Anonymous said...

Asset money has NO rules...COMPLETELY spent at the discretion of rodney. Have you ANY idea the things it is used for? And PAL is now shady...did not used to be...only since rodney came and installed " his people" there.

What Officers do on their OWN time, and NOT under the auspices of cmpd is so entirely different.....there is no comparison. This is being done under the umbrella of cmpd using their name.

And if that is true about Bellamy, then there is No Denying that promotions are based completely on RACE! And there you go, a lawsuit of Reverse Discrimination that will be

Anonymous said...

Just answer the questions about the grant money, PAL & Gang of One money, seizure/forfeiture money, promotion standards, and the rest. If someone asks a question about CMPD & the City, they:
1. Ignore it publicly as long as possible
2. When forced to respond, try to talk about something else, try to cover the actual information while putting out possible disinformation (diplomatically), and
3. Seek out & come down on the people asking the questions. (See Vicki Foster’s CMPD e-mails about God coming after her enemies that apparently went unchecked if you aren’t sure about the atmosphere fostered within the CMPD.)
CMPD and the City don’t like the real answers. Instead of trying to cover them up, they need to fix the activities and personnel at the root of the questions.

Anonymous said...

I have to concur with 11:01 PM....this is really a chicken-shit story. Find a real story to highlight, there are plenty of them out there!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like CMPD brass/public affairs logged in.

Or maybe you're someone else who doesn't understand how enormous amounts of taxpayer money should be spent according to rules and laws. If it's been handled properly, if there's no story, it will be extremely easy to clear up with actual facts, not name-calling.

Anonymous said...

The story is pretty complimentary. Only the last part asks the tough questions. Sounds like Mr. Chicken Shit is not to happy with the spot light turned on the team.

Cedar even points to the "PR" story that some how "popped up" 24 hours after Cedar Posted this story. Very strange if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Not "chickenshit".

If this shines the light on asset funds, PAL, etc., then it is very relevant.

Did they or did they not use funds to ge this off the ground?

Were Pal funds manipulated?

Just simple answers will Yes or No.

Not answering is what is CHICKENSHIT!

Anonymous said...

11:09...4:55 here...jealous? ROTFLMAO.... never had the desire to go thru the CMPD Police academy....try again.... said...

Why don't they put ALL forfeiture monies back to the Dept. It would save tax dollars!!

Anonymous said...

These guys pay for out of pocket quite a bit. A few guys have had to quit because of financial reasons as well as not being to get the time off. A few guys are also not able to go to NY because they can't afford the hotel costs which are coming out of pocket. So, Cedar usually gets a lot right, but not here, these guys are doing it the right way. But you guys love controversy, so have at it. Or, go to one of the games and talk to the same guys that patrol your streets, these guys are not command staff.

Anonymous said...

Is there any word on how the money from forfeitures is controlled and spent? How much is there? What about the grants?

If officers are paying for hotel costs, how are they getting to NY and are they also paying for that? If not, who would be covering car/bus/airplane costs?

Sure seems like there has been a huge uproar of anger over asking a question, instead of simply answering. That usually indicates a problem.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:22 and etal;

Out of pocket.

Next question!

Anonymous said...

CMPD is all about their SWORN Officer's... I'm sure if they wanted to start their own bull riding team, they'd create a team for that composing of nothing but sworn Officer's. Hey Cedar, Why don't you ask CMPD this. What does CMPD do for their non-sworn employees? CMPD Non-Sworn Employees aren't allowed to join any "Sporting Team" the Dept. has. There's no support for the Non-Sworn employees. We saw that when the Crime Scene Investigator was shot not very long ago. Where was the support system for that? Hell the brass didn't even know about it until a few days later. But if that would of been a Sworn Officer/Employee, Rodney, his chain of ass kissers, and everyone else would of responded once they received the page..... Just think it's very sad that non sworn employees can't be apart of something like the sworn employees can..... Sad.

Anonymous said...

How is money from forfeitures controlled and spent? How much is there? What about the grants?

Anonymous said...

It is simple.
Let CMPD issue an official statement avowing that absolutely NO asset or CMPD funds have been used in ANY way to purchase ANYTHING for the team....NO FUNDS whatsoever.
And if they did use funds, what were they and what were they used for.
Just the truth, simple and unvarnished.

Which seems so difficult for rodney and his posse.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, if information is withheld, wrong information put out, promotions given improperly, etc... the information is going to come out. Underway, as a matter of fact.

CMPD needs to start cleaning up any inconsistent practices that may be happening. No time like tonight. Always better to come forward with any of your own errors than to have someone else investigate them for you, right?

If everything is being done properly in CMPD, then there is no problem...

Anonymous said...

I hope Bellamy does make Major, it will be just another and huge example of the reverse discrimination continuously going on at cmpd.
I mean, really, how many African Americans are in the Watch Commanders? Oh, there may have been a few moving quickly through on their way to bigger and better things, but you will not find their stay was long!
It's just like moving Officers into Investigations and other special assignments when they aren't ready or really deserve it, but they are diverse.
It is never ending, this reverse discrimination. And has become all too predictable.
And I hear everyone is predicting this next round of LONG overdue promotions will be overloaded with African Americans that are not as experienced, qualified or respected as their caucasian counterparts....but promises have been made and to hell with working hard and actually being qalified. That counts for nothing! And that seems to be an undeniable fact!!

Anonymous said...

Job Assignments & Promotions

It is illegal for an employer to make decisions about job assignments and promotions based on an employee's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. For example, an employer may not give preference to employees of a certain race when making shift assignments and may not segregate employees of a particular national origin from other employees or from customers.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit...

Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991
Among other things, this law amends Title VII and the ADA to permit jury trials and compensatory and punitive damage awards in intentional discrimination cases.

Charlotte EEOC office:
129 West Trade Street
Suite 400

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:55
The modus operandi of the rodney regime has been and continues to be NOTHING IN WRITING!!! But as someone has said, it is well known that he wants African American names first on ANY list, qualified or not. So it has become submitting names of the most qualified of the LEAST qualified. With more qualified white males/ females after.

I am sure if you looked at promotions, JOB ASSIGNMENTS, who has been chosen for the fbi academy and special schools/assignments a clear pattern and
practice would emerge. And also what kinds of consequences have been handed out to officers.

And retaliation is the way of the world at cmpd, no matter what the law says.

And he continues to operate this way and will continue to operate this way until he leaves. Fear is a great motivator for keeping your mouth shut!!!

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone who can speak and represent CMPD well.
Please let Putney be the public speaking voice of CMPD!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:21...
When you say "it is known," that is information. Describe how it's known (meetings, informally, memos, other).
Also, is there a list of who is put forward for promotion consideration? If so, that is another known. Service records of personnel on that list can be compared to those not on the list. Then comparisons of records and qualifications of those who got the promotions can be made. This is not rocket science. Patterns will emerge.

Stop punking out and get busy writing. Quit waiting for someone else to fix it for you. And everyone else in Charlotte. It seems morale is understandably low, but find some like-minded friends and grow a spine.
I want the most qualified people in charge of my police work here, on a daily basis, and with the DNC2012 and all that will bring to Charlotte. If any other type of promotions are going on that are leaving us less safe, SPEAK UP.

I don't denigrate the efforts of the cops on the street, or even the volunteers that came out, but does anyone believe it wasn't mostly the lightning storm that didn't keep us safe on July 4th? Monroe and Foxx can take all the credit they want, but I'd rather have the Dept. run for the safety of the officers and the City. Don't want to have to hold on for stormy weather.

Anonymous said...

This is a great opportunity for officers and the community to connect with the police officers in a different way. It is off duty - time is the big expense - if the department supports the team with some expenses I have no quarrel with that. Being a police officer is very difficult - these types of outlets are good for them and the community.

Anonymous said...

5:34: I wouldn't have a quarrel w/ general premise of paying for team for purposes you say, IF that were stated,the costs were stated, funding sources known, and the whole thing were approved in advance--over other known funding needs. Seems like instead it's possibly being passed off as a player-funded, money-raising charity operation... which brings us back to:
How much is the cost to operate? Where is the money coming from (all of it)? Was is approved? Is it really raising money for charity once all the books are balanced, or is that the excuse for lots of other funds moving in that direction? Easy answers. Still waiting, Tufano.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you get in touch with Ace n' Tj and see if they got the money they raised for Grin Kids by playing against the Chicago P.D. if you are worried about where their money is going.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:45: Your resp. is just childish and doesn't resolve anything. I hope some money went to a good charity.

Now, please answer: How much is the cost to operate? Where is the money coming from (all of it)? Was is approved? Is it really raising money for charity once all the books are balanced, or is that the excuse for lots of other funds moving in that direction? Easy answers. Still waiting, Tufano.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be concerned about if money is actually going to a charity or if they are keeping it. So, if you want to find out, ask the charity. How is that childish?

Also, why is this in issue only for the baseball team? Isn't there a football team? A hockey team? I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure football is more expensive than baseball.

Anonymous said...

I am asking for full disclosure of all funding in & out of the baseball team. Want to add the other sports teams? That's fine.

The question is: has there been grant money, tax money, or money from illegal seizures which has been used to fund the sports team(s) and not approved/disclosed/done properly. Your childish, nonresponsive answer was roughly "ask if some money went to a charity." Again, I hope it did... but that's not the issue.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone got picked last on the KICK-BALL team in school. For Goodness sakes quit talking shit on your little liberal BLOG and go straight to the source.

Anonymous said...

This answer about going straight to the source is hysterical. You, Cunningham, Zinkann, Walton, Foxx, Council, and the Spokesperson for the City REFUSE to answer the question. Notice you made a change to the website, though. Still doesn't quite ring true.

But the truth will be out very soon, one way or another.

And this baseball team information is the tip of the iceberg.

Childish taunting or bullying won't make this many documents in this many places with this many people disappear. Promise.

Time for anyone who hopes to appear ethical to call a press conference in a hurry and start explaining what they know in all areas. Based on the date of this tantrum, you have no idea what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Tantrum? That's funny, you are way to worried about this. This is probably the most honest thing in CMPD.....

You need to shift your focus, seriously, you must really not like baseball

citynewswatch said...

to 10:37 p.m., It's possible the baseball team is "the most honest thing in CMPD" as you put it.

That doesn't make it okay. Just ask Monroe and the rest to give out the public information about ALL the money throughout the department. The public is entitled to know. We shouldn't have to speculate.

We shouldn't be refused when asking legitimate questions about promotions and hiring practices either.

Nope. Not just the baseball team. You're correct. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be included, right? There are hundreds of thousands of dollars of write-offs for "property expense depreciation" for the Great Balls of Fire foundation (which receives donations for the Blue Hornets) that is mighty confusing and as yet unexplained. The foundation's president is a police officer. I would personally appreciate if he would respond to the questions. Maybe there is a logical explanation. Regardless of that, whatever public funds from the "general fund" as Capt. Cunningham said go into the organization, those are also known and belong to the public.

Eventually, some people will probably be legally forced to answer some questions, but City Leaders should try to get a handle on this from this day forward and any officers that have knowledge should do the same.