STEELE CREEK NEWS
Will CMPD or the Sheriff's Office Patrol Unincorporated Steele
(September 22, 2017) In April the Mecklenburg County
Board of Commissioners voted to terminate the county's contract with the
City of Charlotte for the city-managed Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police
Department (CMPD) to provide police services to the unincorporated
areas of Mecklenburg County.
Their purpose was
to have time to reexamine and renegotiate the contract. The contract
required a 14 month notification for cancellation, so the contract currently expires at the end
of the next fiscal year, effective June 30, 2018,
In the future,
either CMPD will continue to provide police services to unincorporated Steele
Creek under a new contract, or the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's
Office (MCSO) will provide these services.
operates the County’s jails, provides security for the
courthouse, serves civil processes, and provides fugitive functions
for Mecklenburg County, in both the incorporated and unincorporated
areas, but it does not provide direct police services. In
order to provide police services, they would have to create a
new patrol division, essentially creating a new police department
under the MCSO.
On the map
to the right, the red area is the
Charlotte extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which includes the unincorporated areas of Steele
Creek. The City of Charlotte provides planning and zoning services
within the red area.
areas of Mecklenburg County (those in color on the map) comprise the Law Enforcement Service District. Property
owners pay a supplemental police tax to fund police services by the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
The tax rate for the
supplemental police tax is determined by a formula that uses what proportion the
population of the Law Enforcement Service District is of the total
CMPD service area.
On the map below,
the pink areas are within the City of Charlotte and receive city
services. The area in white is unincorporated and currently receives
police services by CMPD. The area in blue cross hatch is serviced by
CMPD's Steele Creek Division, located on the corner of S Tryon
Street and Westinghouse Boulevard. It includes the Lake Wylie
At the September 19 Board of County Commissioners meeting,
County Manager Dena Diorio discussed a report commissioned by the
MCSO that describes a plan for the MCSO to
provide police services to the unincorporated areas, excluding the
ETJs for Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville.
Requirements for the MCSO to establish police
services include the following:
- Fill 121 new staff positions (101 sworn and 20 non-sworn).
- Create new support functions, including criminal
investigations, juvenile investigations, crime scene
investigations and laboratory, recruitment, records, property and
evidence, IT support, school resources, crime prevention, alcohol
law enforcement, and vice and narcotics enforcement.
- Provide new facilities for patrol division offices and lake
- Provide training for new staff.
- Create or contract (with Pineville or MEDIC) for
- Establish or contract animal control services.
- Acquire uniforms, vehicles, firearms, and other equipment.
The estimated initial year's cost would be
$21,071,400.00, including capital investment expenses of
$9,592,300.00. Thereafter, the projected annual operating costs are
$11,479,100.00. Work to establish the new patrol division must begin
by September 30, 2017 in order to be operational by July 2018. As
negotiations with the city are ongoing, it is not possible for the county to make
a decision by September 30.
The FY 2018 county budget includes $17,681,060 for the Law
Enforcement Services District. This would be reduced if the
northern part of the county were excluded. However, the costs
have been increasing, and the county would need to raise taxes
by 2.5% to offset the removal of the northern ETJs from the Law
Enforcement Services District. Payments under the current
contract are not sustainable, and the formula to determine the
Law Enforcement Services District tax rate must be revised in
order for the county to continue to have CMPD service the unincorporated areas.
Ms. Diorio proposed, and the County Commission authorized her to
- Request a one year extension of the contract with the city to July 2019.
- Continue negotiations with the city. If they cannot reach an
agreement by December 31, 2017, then proceed with having the MCSO prepare to take over police functions in July
The preference appears to be to have CMPD
continue to provide police services to the unincorporated
areas. This would allow current operations to continue
uninterrupted. But if the county cannot get the city to change
the formula, and reduce the cost, then the
the backup plan. Since the
MCSO does not currently
provide police services, they would have to create a new
operational structure to meet the requirements.
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