City Launches Website About Uptown Events

 

From The Charlotte Observer, May 16, 2013

The city of Charlotte has launched a new website to provide information about large-scale events uptown. The “Uptown Events” site has up-to-date information on traffic and safety issues for all of the center city’s “extraordinary events” — a declaration by the city manager that gives police more power and prohibits some items.

This year’s Speed Street, which begins next week, is an example.

City officials said the idea for the website came after they used a similar site to provide information about the Democratic National Convention.

To sign up to receive updates on uptown events via email or text visit the site at UptownEvents.CharlotteNC.gov.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/16/4045948/city-launches-website-about-uptown.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD: Two Afternoon Shootings Connected

From The Charlotte Observer, May 9, 2013

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are searching for suspects in two Thursday afternoon shootings they say are connected.

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Both of the shootings occurred east of Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood. Medic officials did not treat anyone at either scene but police said two people showed up at a local hospital with gunshot wounds.

One of the shootings occurred at the Bojangles at 2501 North Tryon St. sometime after 3 p.m. The other happened about a mile west of there, at the intersection of Pinckney and Leigh avenues, near Charles Avenue Park.

WCNC-TV reported that CMPD had the scene roped off with crime tape and were searching nearby neighborhoods with canines.

At 5 p.m. police were trying to determine whether the victims were shot at the same scene or separately.

Detectives were also investigating the severity of the gunshot wounds and how the victims got to the hospital.

Few other details were immediately available.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4032609/cmpd-investigate-two-afternoon.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Officers Cycling to DC to Honor Fallen Officers

From wsoctv.com, May 9, 2013

Thursday morning, dozens of CMPD officers grabbed their helmets and bikes and hit the road.

CMPD officers cycling to DC to honor fallen officers photo

The officers are taking part in an annual event to honor fallen officers. They will spend the next four days cycling to Washington, D.C.

The department dedicates the ride to Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark. Both officers died in the line of duty in 2007.

Published in: on May 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

During CMPD Career, ‘Bomb Guy’ Modernized Response to Threats

 

From The Charlotte Observer By Cameron Steele, May 1, 2013

Jim Windle is many things – former Marine, arson investigator, kayaking enthusiast.

But most people know him as “the Bomb Guy.”

Jeff Siner – jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
(R-L) Former Bomb Commander James Windle is hugged by bomb technician Troy Hurst on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at Quail Hollow Club. Windle of CMPD’s bomb squad retired after more than two decades on the squad.

For the past two decades, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police sergeant has overseen training and operations for the bomb squad.He’s responded to hundreds of calls, helped create a local emergency response plan that is now a model for cities across the nation, and most recently led bomb-squad operations during the Democratic National Convention.

Windle, 49, retired Wednesday as the longest-serving bomb-squad leader in department history.

“Charlotte-Mecklenburg has one of the most impressive squads in the country under Jim Windle’s tenure,” said Robert Ritchie, the former chief of the FBI’s bomb program and a current special agent bomb technician for the bureau’s Charlotte office.

On his last day at work, Charlotte’s bomb guy gave an Observer reporter a tour of the bomb truck set up at the Quail Hollow Club for the Wells Fargo Championship.

As he opened drawers filled with wires and machines police use to dismantle potential explosive devices, Windle offered a rare glimpse into his years leading the squad and of the high-stress, behind-the-scenes world of bomb technicians.

“Bomb guys are very different from SWAT guys – we’re adrenaline junkies, but we’re the quiet, professional type,” he said, patting the 85-pound protective suit that squad members wear when responding to calls. “Not a lot of bombs go off in Charlotte.

“But we go, and we’re the only ones able to say, ‘yes it is a bomb’ or ‘no, it isn’t’ with certainty.”

Visionary leadership

The job requires patience, confidence and years of training.

Windle came by the first two naturally, co-workers said, and tackled the third with uncommon eagerness when he was recruited to the bomb squad in 1992.

Two years later, Windle took charge of squad training. He began working with the Charlotte Fire Department to improve response after a bomb scare at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in 1998.

He and Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Dulin created a new response model that sent firefighters with hazardous-materials training to the scenes of bomb threats.

The integration between the two departments made those calls safer, authorities said, because it allowed bomb technicians to focus on dismantling explosives while firefighters checked for any chemical or biological threats.

After the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, first responders across the country began to adopt the joint response that, under Windle, Charlotte authorities had been using for years.

“It’s a model that a lot of cities replicated after they saw our success,” Dulin said. “The fostering of relationships that Jim did to make that happen is really what helped us get that.”

Working the DNC

Windle also was instrumental in keeping the center city safe during the DNC, colleagues said.

The bomb squad, which normally sees about 50 calls a year, received 57 reports of suspicious packages in a week, Windle said.

He and other squad members coordinated with the FBI, assisted some 80 additional bomb techs from around the country, and worked long hours to identify and dismantle potential threats.

“Windle kept everybody calm,” said Capt. Steven Brochu, who oversees CMPD’s special operations, including the bomb squad. “He was always very delicate, very calm, very efficient.”

As he packed up the bomb truck, Windle said the DNC brought his career full circle, affirming the response procedures that he helped develop two decades ago.

“When the Secret Service described what they wanted for presidential protection, we had already been practicing it for years,” Windle said.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/01/4015819/the-bomb-guy.html#storylink=cpy
Published in: on May 2, 2013 at 7:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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