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Charlotte City Manager Marcus D. Jones announced on May 20, 2020 that Johnny Jennings will be the next Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Police Chief effective September 2020.

Jennings is currently a CMPD Deputy Chief overseeing the Support Services group, including the Community Services Bureau.

Jennings will succeed CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney following the Republican National Convention scheduled for August 24-27. Putney has been CMPD Police Chief since 2015 and joined CMPD in 1992. Chief Putney promoted Johnny Jennings to the rank of Deputy Chief in 2016, and calls Jennings "a man with an unwavering commitment to professionalism, integrity and leadership."

Rodney Monroe was the CMPD police chief before Putney. Jennings, Putney, and Monroe are all black men. There are several African-American police chiefs in America.

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During his service with CMPD, Jennings has held several leadership roles in the department including as the commanding officer for the Administrative Services Group, Special Services Group, Support Services Group and the Field Services Group. He also served as a major over Intelligence, Investigations, Special Operations, Office of Professional Responsibility.

Jennings joined CMPD in 1992 and was promoted to his current rank in 2016. During his time with CMPD, he developed and implemented CMPD's paid college internship program to assist with recruitment and retention; leading planning and operations for major events such as the NBA All-Star game in 2019 and Billy Graham's funeral in 2018; and lead intelligence and coordination efforts with federal, regional, state and local partners for the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Marcus Jones says:

"Hiring the Chief of Police is one of the most important duties I have as City Manager. This position received interest from current Police Chiefs from across the country and they were drawn to this position because of the reputation that CMPD has. As we went through this process it became very clear that Deputy Chief Jennings' leadership with CMPD has been a key aspect of the department's success. I'm excited to have him be our next police chief and continue his work for the Charlotte community."

The hiring process included significant input from community groups and key stakeholders. Leaders from civil rights organizations, community groups and faith-based organizations provided input as part of the search process.