Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CMPD's Ever Thinning Blue Line

We often forget that the cop who just passed us on Providence Road is also our neighbor and he is just as worried about crime and his family's safety as we are.

Cedar Posts talked with one our neighbors the other day, a neighbor who just happens to be a CMPD officer. In order to protect both his identity and his opinion of CMPD we are going to call him Jim.

We wanted Jim to give us a first hand idea of how things at the CMPD are going at since the arrival of Chief Monroe.

Jim is not a rookie but he doesn't consider himself a veteran, as he points out he is "still learning". Sometimes the hardest lessons are not from the school of hard knocks as much as from the school that teaches the political facts of life.

"When I am at work I attempt to perform to the best of my ability for the community and citizens I serve." Jim says. "Like all people I have good days and bad days." he adds.

Jim stresses that despite the recent arrests of Marcus Jackson and Timothy Gerald, and the resignation of two other police officers there are a lot of good officers working for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; but he admits that there are some lazy ones too.

Jim doesn't offer an opinion of Chief Monroe, when pressed surprisingly Jim's thoughts on Chief Monroe are pretty neutral, but he is quick to point out that the people he works for, his chain of command, are the best in the business.

What he doesn't like are the cut backs in training. When Cedar Posts wrote about Frisbee Football and then Paintball Jim wrote to say that the two events are very different. While the Frisbee matches were just an oddball recreation idea the paintball event may have had a real purpose, training and team building.

According to Jim, training at the CMPD has become harder and harder to come by. Each CMPD officer has state mandated training that must be completed in order to maintain their State Law Enforcement Certification.

Police officers with the CMPD are required to attend the range four times a year firing approximately 200 rounds total, one hour day practice, one hour night practice, which includes day qualification and night qualification. (Total time about 2hrs) This also includes the time spend shooting of the department shotgun. 2 hours on the range every three months.

Officers are also required to take juvenile sensitivity training, hazmat awareness, weapons of mass destruction training, and keep up with the most recent changes in the law, all of which are completed on line.

There is also a once a year 8 hour block of situational training where basic defensive tactics are reviewed and practiced and then applied in a simulated encounter.

And that is all.

With little fan fare or public knowledge the street crimes unit was dis-banned in 2008. Jim was a member of the Street Crimes Unit/Task Force from its inception until it was shut down. While a member of the Street Crimes Unit, Jim says he and other officers trained together at least once a month.

Training would build on the previous month's training so that officer would become more proficient in the tactics being taught.

Topics would include shooting on the move, shooting to and from cover, movement drills, reloading on the move, reloading from cover, transition shooting (changing from shotgun to pistol), high risk search warrant entries, shoot don’t shoot drills, felony traffic stops, suspect extractions from vehicles, live fire shooting house entry and most importantly force on force training with simulation rounds.

It was through force on force training where the officer and supervising sergeants could evaluate the progress of the group and officers.

But thanks to recent budget and staffing changes the only members of the police department that now train at a monthly level or above are those officers assigned to SWAT.

In Jim's opinion this is a disservice to every officer out on the street.

Under Chief Monroe's direction each division has a focus mission team (FMT), that is directed by coordinators and manned with "High Risk Search Warrant" certified officers. These officers are often called to conduct search warrants, assist VICE with vehicle take downs or other high impact suspect arrests.

Yet, Jim tells Cedar Posts that even these officers are not allowed to train together with any regularity. They are not allowed to build the necessary camaraderie and skill sets needed to operate safely, decisively and effectively.

Jim points to a saying at the CMPD academy “Fight like you Train, Train like you Fight" which makes you wonder if CMPD officers can not train on the skills and tactics that are so important to their job and survival how will the fight will turn out?

It is this concern as well as an effort to maintain unit cohesiveness and to practice these skills that some CMPD officers have taken it upon themselves to train whenever and where ever possible and this includes getting together for a game of paintball.

Many officers have used their vacation time and or days off to seek out training outside the department at their own expense. Others have attempted to come together for an hour here or there while on duty to practice building clearing, vehicle extractions and high risk entries. CMPD no longer has the funds or ability to forgo the man power needed to keep their officers trained at a high level of proficiency and thus CMPD officers are now only trained to the bare minimum.

In Jim's opinion this is a receipt for failure and or death as new officers come aboard with no additional training and more experienced veteran officers retire.

Still many dedicated officers like Jim will continue to seek out ways to train, and attempt to maintain proficiency in all of their tactical skills. These officers purchase their own training ammunition and sacrifice their personal time and in order to continue to train sometimes playing a game of paintball to stay sharp.

Cedar Posts must admit that Paintball while a poor substitute for live fire and simulation work is better than nothing.

Kudos to officers like Jim who are working hard to over come budget cuts and policy changes put in place by Chief Monroe.


Anonymous said...

Rodney Monroe has gotten rid of any training not state mandated.

He said "it wasn't necessary, and ON THE JOB training was all that officers needed over and above the state mandated training".

While I give kudos to "Jim" for speaking to you, I wish he had gone a bit further and laid blame where it needs to be laid, at the feet of rodney monroe.

No money for training? That can also be attributed to rodney monroe.

He felt that there were more pressing needs for CMPD than life saving training for the officers he claims to care so much about. He was two million dollars over budget last year and is two million dollars or more over budget for this year, with none of that money spent on training over and above the state mandated training. Or for raises for these very same officers.

How many times must it be said? Rodney Monroe cares about NUMBERS, and bogus numbers are keeping him his job. He cares about NUMBERS, not the work or the people, but NUMBERS because those fictional numbers make HIM look good. And it circles back to where it ALWAYS does with rodney monroe, to HIM.

Rodney monroe is responsible for the dumbing down of CMPD in every conceivable way.

What could really be more important to a PD than the proper and continuous training of it's force?

Apparently under rodney's regime, it would, once again, be NUMBERS.

When will he be investigated and the truth of his misleading and lying be told?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Jim voiced what I was wanting to say ever since you posted the story about paintball.

The Fire Department trains more than we do. You would think someone on City Council would ask some questions of Chief Monroe.

Thank you Jim for setting Cedar straight about Paintball and other things we do to stay sharp.

Anonymous said...

Cedar Posts what are you smoking? You let one of RoMo clowns tell you how good they are doing even though money is tight.

Next you will have RoMo tellings City Council he needs more money for training.

Dumb, you have played right into RoMo's dirty tricks.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully Officers like Jim or whatever his real name is have the smarts and the drive to train on their own.

God Bless you and keep you safe thank you for all that you do.

Anonymous said...

With all these comments about training, or lack thereof, let us not forget that Rodney Monroe's philosophy is that the department can train anyone to do anything. And that is why he pushes so hard to allow rookies with little to absolutely no experience to become detectives or enter specialized training. So...if he can train anyone to do anything, why has he cancelled so much training and gone through lengths to deny any outside training at the department's expense?

Anonymous said...

I apologize, I meant 'specialized units' not specialized training.

Anonymous said...

CMPD used to be the place to go train used to be ahead of the game, it's quite funny that now it's the largest department in the state with the most uniformed/sworn officers and the least amount of money for training.
It's even funnier that there are people in positions that are not capable of doing the jobs they are assigned to and have been specificially put there by Monroe- Let's go down Monroes most important list-
new BDU's are more important than training, a new office for the shit head is more important than training, parking spot for Momo is more important than training
his diverse secretary who sits at her desk and does nothing is more important than training
His ignorant PR guy who is worthless again- more important
Ray Ray cant forget that 100k (money really well spent there)is again more important well really he is because MOMO wouldnt know what to do with out him...
being diverse is more important than training ...so when CMPD has another officer who is seriously hurt and or killed because they were not trained appropriately what is the City going to say to his/or her spouse? Sorry your husband/wifes back up was fully trained - THAT MONEY THAT WAS ALLOTTED FOR TRAINING WAS USED FOR WHAT IDOTIC THING MOMO CAME UP WITH NOW...OR ARE THEY GONNA BEND OVER AND TAKE IT (CITY COUNCIL)...I know if he EVER shows up in my driveway I will have him arrested

ThaQueenCity said...

TO ANON 11:55 PM

I couldn't agree more! RuttMutt is a pure JOKE! HOW can uniforms be more important than TRAINING! Especially for all those new recruits!

One day soon the CITY will have an other lawsuit but NOT for rape, it will be for murder of an officer who was not EQUIPPED to do the job he was supposed to be trained!

Anonymous said...

Anon 606

it's idiotic comments like that has me feeling like these comments are purely Romo bashing and nothing more. Even when there is truth to the comments, comments like that take away credibility in my opinion. God forbid that we still have officers that bust their tail everyday, with what their givien, to protect ungrateful citizens like yourself. Wow... He didn't bash Monroe and let it be known there are good officers and lazy officers. Oh yeah, he's disappointed with the training he receives too. Maybe we should change this blog from Romo Bashing to Bashing any Good Officer left!!! Thanks for your support!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG, can't you people separate the stupid comments from the real comments?

I think EVERYONE agrees that CMPD is full of good, honest, dedicated Officers that are trying to make a difference in the quality of life for the citizens of Charlotte.....and that is what makes what rodney has done and is continuing to do such a CRIME.

It is these very Officers that he is supposed to be LEADING that he is screwing.

By not giving them the proper training that they so deserve...
By not giving them the raises that they so deserve....
By not giving them the RESPECT that they so deserve....
By not giving them the UNBIASED promotion system they so deserve...

And Curt Walton and City Council have been aiding and abetting rodney and his corrupt regime from the beginning.

The Officers of CMPD deserve and should demand ethical, honest leadership.

They should demand a leader that has THEIR backs, and is not just out to make a name for himself and his cronies.

They don't have this now, and will not have this as long as Rodney is in charge.

It's just as simple as that.

What will it take to get rid of him?

He has lied repeatedly, about his degree, about crime stats, about Marcus Jackson, and those are only the things we KNOW about, the tip of the iceberg.

It is so sad that our standards are such that we accept this.

Anonymous said...

The thing that gets me is the chain of command telling officers, "go out, be productive---make arrests and traffic stops----Or, I'll send you to 3rd shift."

Where is the motivation in that?

Anonymous said...

I have to say I have not heard the "or I'll send you to third shift" one time.....must be YOUR chain of command, Anon 11:12.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I have the same chain of command as Anon 11:12 or not, but we get the same threat quite frequently. Definately not the way to motivate.

Anonymous said...

6:41 and 11:12 we might not be in the same chain of command are in the same boat and it is sinking fast.

My SS is right out of the RoMo manual fear and intimidation 101. He loves to say my way or the highway and I'll make you wish we were never born.

Anonymous said...

3rd shift, that's funny. I would love for my supervisor to threaten me to go to 3rd shift. In my district, productivity doesn't matter. Just look at 75% of the officers that work 1st shift. They know they are lazy and they don't care, many are almost proud of it because they already did their time on nights so they retire on duty. NOT ALL are that way.

If I may say one thing about "The Great Paintball Conspiracy" - To me, it still sounds like one disgruntled officer who is upset about either his own shortcomings or the shortcomings of HIS supervisors that wanted to complain about something that he was being slighted from and something to which he was not fully informed.

I am guessing he is not on the FMT, and he heard they were going to play paintball. The supervisor of FMT is responsible for the FMT. He/She is responsible for his 12 or 15 officers. If the disgruntled officer wants to get some similar training then he needs to go to his supervisor and make some training suggestions. Instead of trying to start drama within the district that he works. I have friends that work in that district, and that is all the end result was. Some drama and guessing about who sent the original e-mail. Flame on, because I am sure their will be a majority that disagree with me.