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.