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Thursday, January 24, 2013



During a 1/23/13 press conference, Charlotte’s Police Chief Rodney Monroe announced a 9.5% increase in violent crime for 2012, but according to WSOCTV, “Monroe hopes technology put in place for the DNC will help bring that number down this year.

Monroe went on to say the new Command Center had already helped close a murder case this year when “On Jan. 7 officers in the Hickory Grove Division were investigating a homicide on Farm Pond Lane. When police arrived, they found Monte Gay shot, and he was taken to the hospital, where he died.  Witnesses pointed police to a man named Bret Samuels, who was on electronic monitoring, and records showed he had been in the area of the shooting at the time.  Within two hours, police had a suspect in custody.”

Here are a couple of problems with his rationale:  1) The Command Center has been up and running for much of 2012, but crime statistics are up 9.5 % anyway, and 2) Electronic Ankle Bracelets have been in place and monitored for years.  If electronic monitoring is what caught the homicide suspect, it would not have required the DNC-funded Command Center.


While it’s great that there were three less murders in 2012 than in 2011, much of the credit probably goes to paramedics and hospital staff—and to quick response of police officers responding to get those who were shot or stabbed to medical help.  The statistics on attempted murder are rolled into lesser charges.  Statistics for everyone who lived through 2012 in Charlotte are less encouraging:

Murders decreased 5.5 %
Rape    increased 4 %
Robbery  increased 12 %, with Armed Robbery increasing 14 %
Aggravated Assault  increased 9 %
Burglary is reported as down about 9 %
Larceny Totals are reported as  increasing about 6 %, with
Shoplifting  increasing over 18 % *
Vehicle Theft  Increased 2 %
Arson decreased 0.5 %
Violent Crime Reported increased 9.5 %
Property Crime Reported increased 1.8 %


It’s hard to say what numbers are being reported.  If you examine the individual division numbers per CMPD’s site and add up the 2012 murder totals for each of 13 divisions, they total 49, not the 52 total given for the City for the year.  If three murders were committed somewhere outside of Divisions, but included in the totals, then what does that say about the validity of the rest of the crime numbers?  Or is there some other explanation for these two numbers not matching?

Similarly, adding up rapes reported among divisions brings a total of 205, but the City total is reported as 219.  There are 1635 robberies added up, vs. 1798 reported as the total.  Etcetera.  

Since CMPD is basing their reported increases and decreases in crime on these numbers, an explanation is in order.  If the total number of crimes reported as 38,014 for 2012 and 36,980 for 2011 are based on faulty, misleading, or just unclear reports or calculations, that needs to be clarified or corrected.


Chief Monroe applauded the Freedom Division for crime reduction and gave out pins to commemorate accomplishments.  Monroe said the Freedom Division demonstrated the best overall reduction at 3.5%.  However, violent crime was up 22.5% in Freedom, with Robbery up 31%, Rape up 8%, and Aggravated Assault up 22%.  Murders dropped from 4 in 2011 to 1 in 2012, and Burglary and Larceny statistics were way down.


Last year, Monroe began his pinning tradition by awarding them to Captain Martha Dozier and the Providence Division for a drop in 2011 reported crime statistics.  Now her 2012 Crime Statistics show:

Murders increased 67 %
Rape increased 30 %
Strong-armed Robbery increased 38 %
Aggravated Assault increased 12 %
Residential Burglary increased 11 %
Shoplifting increased 55 %  
with overall larceny increasing 6 %
Vehicle Theft increased 4 %
Arson increased 233 %


* The marked increase in reported shoplifting must be considered.  Last year, Citynewswatch reported the little-known SHOP (Shoplifting Offender Project) program employed by CMPD that seemed to be a way to keep larceny numbers off the books.  Inquiries to the State, FBI and CMPD to get accurate Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics required by the FBI and other agencies hit dead ends in many cases, but maybe there was an internal response.  Only a full audit will tell for sure, but it would be a big coincidence if suddenly 20% more incidences of shoplifting started occurring after the diversion program was exposed.  Maybe it’s just a sign of the economic times or law enforcement focus.

If you read this SHOP post, you will see that the 2008 and 2009 CMPD Annual Reports have been removed from the web, and have not been returned.  Those are the first two years of Rodney Monroe’s tenure as Police Chief in Charlotte.  Why have they been removed?  What information is problematic?  2005, 2006, and 2007 are still present. 


Watch Commander Logs, Significant Event Logs, and other major public crime information Chief Monroe had removed from the web site still hasn't been restored, and it doesn't look promising it will ever happen.


Millions have been spent on the DNC-funded “Command Center” used to install video cameras, microphones and “Shot Spotter” microphone systems, along with extra License Plate Reader's, or LPR’s (cameras that capture and store the locations and actions of tens of thousands of license plates of innocent travelers as they look for a few possible violators).  Monroe still won’t release any Operating Procedures for these devices, who is authorized to use them, who is authorized to access the data, how long it will be stored, whether the data is being uploaded to any outside agencies or companies, or what the total costs are.  There is no data to substantiate the use of this equipment or data, and now Monroe is claiming the old electronic monitoring ankle bracelets are part of the new technology—making any claim necessary to associate catching a murder suspect with his expensive Command Center.

The CMPD and City STILL have not released dollars spent on this “top-secret” technology for security reasons, according to Police Chief Rodney Monroe and recently-retired City Manager Curt Walton.  Tax payers were told they had to wait until after the DNC Convention first week of September, 2012, ended to be told how the security dollars had been spent.  More than four months later, is there still a security threat to the visiting dignitaries last Fall?


The finances for security spending still haven’t been disclosed.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Java Warning from Homeland Security

Homeland security has issued a warning to disable or remove Java software from your computer, due to a glitch in the software that could cause you to visit a site and upload a malicious Java applet, causing more problems.  Read details at this government site (U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team) and in this thorough article by MSNBC, which both contain instructions on how to disable the software.  Be advised that many computers come pre-installed with Java, so even if you did not install the program, you may likely have it on your computer.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

CMPD DC Medlock Will Be Fayetteville Police Chief

Current Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Deputy Chief Harold Medlock has been named new Chief of Police for the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina.  The Fayetteville Observer reported today 55-year-old Medlock will begin his new position on February 18th with a force of 380 officers.