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Police can't enforce Charlotte ordinances until full review of city code, officials say

Brandon Walker

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers are in a position where they say they can’t arrest or charge a person for violating a city ordinance. That is until the city reviews its ordinances and decides which ones should have criminal penalties.

Animal abuse, littering, polluting and loud music or amplified noises are all governed by city ordinances. A state law that went into effect on Dec. 1 removes some criminal penalties from municipal ordinances.

The city of Charlotte released a statement saying to comply with the law, the city is reviewing its ordinances to determine which ones should continue to have criminal penalties.

Mayor Pro-Tem Julie Eiselt said this law took everyone by surprise and they were trying to get more details from staff.

Larken Egleston, who chairs the city’s safety committee, said a review may take several weeks. In the meantime, Egleston said there isn’t a safety threat.

“I don’t think we’re taking away the ability of our police officers to handle situations that involve serious crimes or violent crimes or anything of that sort. These are more petty crimes,” Egleston said.

A city spokesperson said CMPD officers will continue to respond to complaints governed by city ordinances. He also said there are many areas where city ordinances overlap with state law and officers will continue to enforce that.

Copyright 2021 WFAE

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.