The COPS Office Announces Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Promise Youth Development as Winners of the 2018 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, July 9, 2019


CHARLOTTE, NC – The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and Promise Youth Development as the winners of the 2018 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award for their partnership to help disadvantaged children succeed in education.

Promise Youth Development, in partnership with CMPD’s Independence Division Officers, commit time to mentoring, tutoring, playing sports, or just being a big brother or sister to young people who live in underserved, low income neighborhoods. The mission of Promise Youth Development is to develop and empower youth through academic enrichment, health promotion and career exploration for confident transition into adulthood. The organization was founded by Mrs. Tesha Boyd and Mrs. Tanisha Patterson-Powe to help the community heal after the shooting of Keith Scott and turn a terrible tragedy into a community triumph.

“The partnership we’re recognizing today is unique and indicative of the type of work we like to honor within the Department of Justice,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “My 34 years in law enforcement have taught me that there’s no better place to start improving police-community relations than with our young people. It's the most basic concept, and also the most true: The stronger the relationship between youth and law enforcement, the stronger our communities become.”

“We are honored to be recognized for our continued dedication to community policing and the collaborative efforts that make a difference to the people we serve,” said CMPD Chief Kerr Putney.

The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and deputy director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 to 1996. This annual award is bestowed upon a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community. The ideal nominee creates community collaborations that are innovative, creative and transformative; displays civic leadership through problem solving and collaborative partnerships; and promotes public safety through dedication to the community policing philosophy.

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 130,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit