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Robbie Turner and Merline Houston, founders of Community Caring, awarded several individuals with certificates of appreciation during the town board meeting on Monday, May 1. Community Caring is a local group of volunteers working to create a safe environment for kids. 

MOORESVILLE – During a town board meeting on Monday, May 1, officers of the Mooresville Police Department were among those who received awards from the volunteer group Community Caring.

Dedicated to help the youth on Bell Street and around Mooresville, the group provides kids with after-school educational and safe activities as well as nourishment.

Founders of Community Caring, Robbie Turner and Merline Houston, gave a short speech about the impact the local police department has had in the community and the individuals who are volunteering their time for the kids.

“Together, we are providing a better environment for kids on Bell Street,” Houston said. “It’s a safer place because of the help and assistance of all those who are involved. There’s a willingness to sit and talk to these kids, and that has been greatly appreciated. We are excited and very happy with the kind of relationships we’ve formed over the past months.”

The sisters handed out six awards. Fred Carter received the Outstanding Professional Award; Jeremy Bentley, the Game Changer Award; Eric Keenan, Mentor of the Year; Adrian Williams, Big Brother Award; Gerald Childress, Man of Honor Award; and David Call for the Officer of the Year Award.

“It’s not just about being here for the kids from time to time. These individuals have really taken the time to get to know our kids,” Houston said. “Growing up, we didn’t have the best experience with officers, and we were told to not get in their way. That’s not the case here.”

Mooresville Police Chief Damon Williams also gave a presentation of the police department’s MPACT, Mooresville Police and Community Together, program. It aims to bring a more personalized police presence in the community without the use of hostility.

“It’s a fact when we say that we are a suburb of Charlotte, yet the police department here is vastly different in the way they handle their citizens and engage with citizens,” Williams said. “We’re doing something right. We’re doing more than just enforcement. We’re keeping constant communication with our community members and our everyday residents.”

Commissioner at-large Bobby Compton said he was grateful for Williams and the work of the MPACT program.

“You know you just came here, and you totally just embraced the whole program,” Compton said. “That was really impressive. You didn’t make it about ‘Your way or the Williams way.’ You just took the existing program and continued to implement it.”

Officer Corporal Plyler, who has been part of the MPD since 2011, gave a testimonial about the role MPACT has on his job.

“We were a reactive police department before,” Plyler said. “But now, we have the support and encouragement to stay on calls and to investigate further.”

Recalling a domestic violence call, Plyler said he had the opportunity to ask additional questions to not only handle the person initiating the violence but to take care of the person who called for help in the first place.

“I don’t know if three or four years ago I could have asked questions (in detail) that would have helped out the situation in a long run,” he said.

SUBHEAD: Town approves requests

Property owner Hunter Norman got a unanimous thumbs-up by the town board for a rezoning request.

The property located on McLean Circle will now have a maximum allowable density of five units per acre with an R5 designation, changing from only being allowed two units at most with an R2 classification. The new zoning also allows for the option of attached products like townhomes or condos, where previously it was only zoned for single family detached residential development.

“These are both our more common, predominantly single-family zoning districts,” said Rawls Howard, the town’s planning and community development director. “The only real difference is that the R5 would allow a more moderate density product, such as duplexes or other attached housing options.”

The town also approved a zoning request from Alexander Place Shoppes, LLC. The property located at the northwest corner of Charlotte Highway and the Medical Park Drive right-of-way was purchased by the applicant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Therefore, the town was required to establish zoning.

The request was to establish zoning for a mixed-use in keeping with the provisions of the U.S. 21 Small Area Plan.

Commissioner at-large David Coble made the motion, and Compton followed.

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