Friday, September 23, 2011

CMPD Chief Monroe's Taser Shocker

On Monday CMPD Chief Monroe will ask Charlotte City Council Members to approve a $2,529,350.06 deal with Taser International to supply all 1600 CMPD Officers with the new and improved Taser X2.

New Taser X2

The major reason to upgrade to the new Taser X2 is that the device automatically limits the shock to no more than 5 seconds. The department has known for sometime that a frequent cause of death via the Taser X26 was "over shocking", something that the new X2 prevents.

Taser Training is pretty simple, if you repeatedly zap a suspect holding down the trigger there is a real chance you will kill them which will cost the city about 10 million dollars.

Taser International will give CMPD a $700,000.00 credit for current X26 equipment, $400,000.00 will come from the asset forfeiture account and $1,429,350.06 from the City's General Fund.

CMPD fully deployed the Taser X26 in 2003 on a shared use basis. In 2006 the city purchased enough additional Tasers at a cost of $799.00 each, so that each officer had his own Taser. The new Tasers will cost the department $1,580.00 each.

On July 20th Chief Monroe recalled all CMPD Tasers after the death of La'Reko Williams. On August 30th Chief Monroe issued a statement saying that he was not returning the current Tasers to CMPD officers because he was ordering an additional study to be conducted by the Washington DC based Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

See Don't Tase Me Bro! How Chief Monroe is Shocking Taxpayers

The independent PERF review is still ongoing, but now, before the review is complete Monroe wants to purchase the new Tasers. Which is what CMPD staff suggested last month.

Cedar's Take: Its time for Charlotte City Council to ask some questions and not just "bend over" for Chief Monroe. You'll notice on the agenda for Monday's meeting Chief Monroe will give his presentation during the dinner meeting and not as part of the public meeting.

CMPD has known for more than a year that they should upgrade to the new Taser X2 which became available earlier this year. In fact Taser International has been meeting with CMPD since 2010 regarding the upgrade.

Easy questions that Council should ask: Why haven't the old Tasers been returned to CMPD Officers? Why the additional cost of the PERF study when the team of CMPD officers already recommended upgrading the equipment? Since the X2 is a new product, shouldn't CMPD wait for some feedback from the field? Why not wait for completion of the PREF Study? Why wasn't this upgrade included in the CMPD 2012 budget? Why have CMPD officers been without Tasers for more than two months? Finally what do CMPD officers want? Did the boots on the street have any say?

There is no excuse for CMPD Officers not having Tasers, and there is no excuse for CMPD Officers not having the best equipment available. So why all the mismanagement?

Cedar Post's Update: Looks like Rodney Monroe has already signed the deal with Taser International prior to the Charlotte City Council vote Monday night. Emails to Cedar Posts note that CMPD's old Tasers where shipped out last month. Further that the delay late last month in returning the Tasers to CMPD Officers was just a stall tactic since there where no Tasers to return to the Officers.

Then there's Taser International's Dog and Pony show Monday morning. Which is spelled out in
CMPD and Taser International's Monday Roll Out Meeting Memo.


Anonymous said...

You should attend the TASER lunch and learn on Monday, an all day event for command staff paid for by TASER to learn why you should smile and wave, smile and wave.

Anonymous said...

RoMo could have asked for the money last month but he wanted to get the office upgrades completed first.

Cedar hints at the reason that CMPD officers don't have tasers is because all the tasers were returned to Taser International 3 weeks ago.

RoMo has already inked the deal with Taser and if city council had a backbone they would call him out on this by asking him where the old tasers where and delaying the vote till next year.

I don't think it would take long for him to start sweating.

Anonymous said...

No surpise here eveyone in the meeting to present the report on tasers known it was just for show.

But there was a push back when the staff suggested that the X26 was still a good option as long as you didn't lean on the suspect too hard.

That is why Romo brought in PERF.

Total scam.

Anonymous said...

So Webster inked the deal before cltcc had a chance to say ok? Wow that is some hubris ass.

And Taser will be sucking up CMPD koolaid drinkers on Monday

citynewswatch said...

Why else would CMPD have scheduled a mandatory attendence, all-day meeting with TASER-Inc. on Monday?

Lunch provided--and read the letter to note the heavy emphasis on avoiding legal problems. Are we spending almost $2 million to help TASER avoid being sued again? Monroe is quoted as saying the CMPD review found only "minor problems" with a few current TASERS, so why did we need to pay PERF and now spend this money? It's classic CYA move and we need to see the contracts.

He'll be discussing it in closed-door dinner meeting--public business not allowed per open meeting law except under certain very specific conditions that don't seem to apply here at all.

Anonymous said...

"The major reason to upgrade to the new Taser X2 is that the device automatically limits the shock to no more than 5 seconds."

Translation: CMPD doesn't trust the meatheads it puts out on the streets to be able to count to five and pull their paws off the trigger.

Anonymous said...

Business as usual in Charlotte, screw the taxpayers and Charlotte City Council could care less.

No one and I repeat NO ONE will vote against the chief.

Anonymous said...

I'm no Monroe fan, but it's always good to have the right information out there. The dinner meetings are not televised, but they are not "closed." If you or anyone else wants to go, you are more than welcome!

citynewswatch said...

A sincere thanks for that correction.
Everyone is not available to attend the dinner meetings, however, there don’t seem to be minutes of the dinner meetings available, but please correct me on that if you can point to where they are.

In the midst of so many denials of public information for so many aspects of what's happening within the CMPD, choosing to have Monroe at the Dinner Meeting instead of the much more public Council meeting feels like one more effort to keep the full discussion, answers given, and any debate behind closed doors. If we could count on officials to take all the steps they should, it wouldn’t be so necessary to literally watch it happen.

This particular TASER deal is one of many requiring explanation, and you shouldn’t have to be available to go down to the dinner meeting to find out what’s going on. What would they do if all the citizens of Charlotte showed up?

What is the funding for the CMPD Charlotte Hornets Baseball Team? For months they won’t answer, so if you’re going to the dinner meeting—please ask that question. Cedar’s been asking here (at least) and I have seen documented proof that every member of Council and staff has been informed and asked. That’s not a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Sure thing, Citywatch, I appreciate what you do. There isn't an opportunity for citizens to ask questions at the dinner, but doesn't the Council have to vote on the deal in the business meeting and don't they still have the citizen's forum during which you can have time to ask questions? For meeting minutes, have you checked the City's website? Even though the dinner meetings aren't televised, the city clerk takes minutes and those are posted at
I can't understand how you can be denied public records, though. What's up with that? The operative word is "public," after all. Isn't there the state open government group that could help? Bunch of media people as I remember. Not sure if they're still doing anything. Sorry, that's all I have!

citynewswatch said...

thanks, and that's the site I had searched, along with using the general "search" on for dinner meeting and a few other variations, but it seems that the link you sent only has reference to the fact that a dinner meeting occured--not minutes of the actual meetings. If you can find them, that would be great. There are some other business meetings at other times, so it's a litte hard to be certain that none are included.

Public comments are a good idea because it would draw attention to the problem (see Wayne Powers' CRVA comments), but you are not permitted a Q&A with Council--only if someone chooses to ask you a question are you permitted to answer. You don't get an answer FROM anyone unless they feel like it...

Yes, it is a violation to refuse public records. That doesn't seem to stop some personnel.

The group you referred to has been helpful, but has limited capacity.

The government group that should release public records are all the personnel in Charlotte required to do their jobs and follow laws. I hope they take time to consider this point as well.

Anonymous said...

If you want specific budget information that is not in the public record, you have to hire an attorney to sue the city for it, which if you have the money to do that upfront, it will be returned to you in the end. Unless you know of an attorney that will take it without payment upfront. Even your local and state representatives can't help you get blocked budget records.

Anonymous said...

§ 132 1. "Public records" defined.

(a) "Public record" or "public records" shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. Agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall mean and include every public office, public officer or official (State or local, elected or appointed), institution, board, commission, bureau, council, department, authority or other unit of government of the State or of any county, unit, special district or other political subdivision of government.

(b) The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people.

This means we shouldn’t have to sue to get it. See that “records” is defined as public records and also as information. That is an important distinction.

But you are correct that § 132 9 provides for attorneys’ fees if a determination is made that records should have been released and were not. There is also another provision in law for personal fines against each official for $50 per day for each day they improperly withheld the documents. I’ll have to find the legal reference. Of course, when applicable, there’s obstruction of justice, if that was the purpose of not releasing public documents.

Anonymous said...

The minutes do include summaries of the dinner briefing presentations, questions and discussions. Not sure where you are looking but if you click on the minutes, they do summarize the dinner briefings. For example, I clicked on the March 28 minutes and it summarizes what happened during the dinner, even notes when council members arrive (late)!

By the way, the clerk usually audio tapes the dinner meetings, too. Isn't that a public record?