CMPD Partners with Lowe’s to Launch Diversion Program for Young Adults

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is partnering with home improvement chain Lowe’s to keep low-level first-time offenders out of the criminal justice system.

The program, announced Thursday, applies to offenders between the ages of 18 and 24 and provides job training and job opportunities in lieu of a prison sentence.

CMPD said it hopes the program will continue the success of its youth diversion program. Since 2013, nearly 4,000 minors have completed the program, 92% of whom are no longer committing offences, the department said.

“I am proud of the accomplishments of the CMPD Youth Diversion Program,” said CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings. “They learn valuable life lessons and skills to become successful adults. I know the adult diversion program will provide the same opportunities for young adults to improve.

Local Lowe’s leaders will lead the training, including classes on resume writing, interviewing and job retention. The program also includes pre-employment training, a financial literacy course, a victim awareness course and more.

Lowe’s, the program’s executive sponsor, donated $48,650 to cover the first year’s costs.

The Mooresville-based retailer and other businesses will provide job opportunities for people who complete the program.

“We believe this program will pay long-term dividends in the lives of the participants we can impact and in the communities they will continue to impact for years to come,” said Hanh Pham, Vice President. Lowe’s Regional.

Entry into the program is by recommendation of a CMPD officer. If an arrested person is deemed eligible, the arresting officer may refer the suspect to a diversion specialist.

Once accepted, participants are required to complete courses ranging from three to 12 months depending on the severity of their offence. The program has a zero-tolerance policy toward new criminal offenses, the CMPD said.

Participants are required to attend meetings with the program specialist. They are also required to comply with program rules during training and after employment.

The punishable offenses are:

  • car theft
  • unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
  • employee theft
  • larceny/misdemeanor
  • misdemeanor assault (non-domestic violence)
  • car theft – no pursuit or accident with injury
  • fraud
  • possession of stolen property (misdemeanor and felony)
  • class B or E misdemeanor
  • drunk and disruptive
  • disorderly conduct
  • property damage/vandalism
  • inability to disperse (after arrest)
  • possession of alcohol under 21
  • possession of marijuana and/or other drugs
  • ABC misdemeanor
  • possession of drug paraphernalia

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