Newly promoted Chief of Police Kevin Black was the featured speaker at February’s Connecting Cornelius meeting at Harvey’s restaurant in Cornelius. Mayor Woody Washam, town board members, N.C. Representative Christy Clark, business owners, and many members of the community attended.
Overview of the Cornelius Police Department
The Administrative Division oversees budgeting, planning, and analysis; statistical data; records management; and accident reports.
The Field Operations Division is the largest division with 72% of all sworn staff and consists of police officers, first responders, and traffic enforcement. Chief Black noted that Cornelius has two K9 officers that have been instrumental in the search for missing persons. He also spoke of the lake patrol, which has been a part of the department since 2015, and oversees all the waters in Mecklenburg County.
The Support Services Division recruits and trains (all officers are required to complete 24 hours of state-mandated training per year), school resource officers (Hough High School and Bailey Road Middle School). It also oversees animal control (two officers), a volunteer program that includes the Citizen Academy, and community services, such as National Night Out, Coffee with a Cop, Shred-a-Thon, and Adopt-a-Family, to name just a few.
The greatest challenge for the police department today is competitive pay because it has a direct impact on recruiting and retaining officers. There are currently eight vacancies.
Challenges in the community
The opioid crisis. Currently, the fire department carries Narcan® and is trained to administer it to people who have overdosed on heroin. The police department is pursuing adding that training for their officers.
Coyotes. Coyotes are classified as wildlife and are not under the jurisdiction of animal control officers. Coyotes are generally not aggressive toward humans. They are attracted to food sources, such as feral cats and other small animals. Be careful if you have small pets at home; do not leave them outside unattended.
For more information on the Cornelius Police Department, visit its website.
Other Cornelius News
Representative Christy Clark attended the meeting to let people know that she is already at work and wants to listen to what people have to say. She has been assigned to the following committees: agriculture, environment, judiciary, homeland security, veterans’ affairs, and appropriations. She spent time before and after the meeting listening to people’s concerns.
“It’s Week 2. Senator Marcus and I have already met with the Turnpike Authority and NCDOT to be brought up to speed on the I-77 project. You can look forward to a bill being introduced by me regarding the managed lanes. This week, the legislature will be beginning our committee meetings and getting to work on assigned legislation.”—N.C. Representative Christy Clark (District 98)
“I want to know what’s happening in town. I’m concerned about the needs of our community. This meeting is a great way to be connected.”—Reverend Jonathan Marlowe, co-senior pastor of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church
Connecting Cornelius is held from 8:30-9:30am on the first Monday of the month at Harvey’s in Cornelius. Each event features informal networking with Mayor Woody Washam and town board members, brief presentations on current topics, and question/answer sessions.
Check the Town of Cornelius calendar for dates and times of future meetings.