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Detective to star in Homicide TV series

Garry McFadden '82CHARLOTTE, NC - June 13, 2016 -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Detective Garry McFadden ’82 is a 35-year veteran on the force. He is also the subject of a documentary series, “I Am Homicide,” which premieres Tuesday, June 14 at 10 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery channel. During each episode, McFadden walks viewers through one of his murder cases and how he solved it, building a lasting legacy and a national reputation.

McFadden spent three decades learning every inch of Charlotte’s streets, and in the process became as famous as the cases he’s cracked. His larger-than-life reputation stems from a dedication to community so deep, he often knew the suspects, victims and neighborhood of the crime that took place as soon as the call came in. This familiarity with the terrain helped him build an impressive 90 percent success rate on his investigations.

One of the most decorated law enforcement officers in the history of CMPD, McFadden retired on July 31, 2011, but was immediately re-hired by the City of Charlotte, where he was assigned to work in the Office of the Chief of Police. As a leader on the Dignitary Protection Unit, McFadden does most of the planning when notable public figures come to the city.

McFadden is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University and has been certified by several schools and universities in the areas of investigations and forensics. A strong advocate working within and outside of law enforcement to build bridges, he mentors at-risk youth and educates civilians on vital public safety information. In 2015, he created the organization Cops and Barbers and has spoken at the White House about ways to facilitate communication between police and the African-American communities they serve.

“I’m passionate about my people and I’m passionate about my fight,” McFadden said. “I always say what my grandfather said: If you don’t have a plan, they have a plan for you.”

McFadden came to JCSU from Sumter, S.C. and graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. He reminisced about the Tree Well, Brayboy Gymnasium and Fraternity Row, the parties and mandatory church on Sundays.

“At JCSU, they used to drill academics into us. We studied so much we would get sick, but when we partied, we partied,” McFadden said. “There was so much unity and love and camaraderie, it was unbelievable. I was pushed, made into this person I am today.”

McFadden’s accomplishments and awards have been numerous, including the FBI’s Distinguished Service Award for Homicide Investigation; CMPD’s Medal of Valor and Outstanding Service Award; The Charlotte Observer’s Community Relations Award; and the NAACP’s Unsung Heroes Award. Of all the accolades, seeing the impact he’s made in people’s lives means the most.

Last summer, a gang-affiliated group invited him to their annual summer cookout. They also invited the rival gang that they had been fighting for decades. McFadden accepted the invitation.

“I wasn’t nervous, but I was cautious,” he said. “These are people, some of them, whom I had sent to prison, and there was no other police presence.”

Instead of violence, there was talk, laughter and food as McFadden got to know not only the gang members, but their children and even some grandchildren. He learned the group, who now call themselves The Men, are going into schools and mentoring youth on a weekly basis.

“It touched my heart,” McFadden said. “These are the things that resonate in my soul. Awards are for doing one or two things that get noticed. But this type of change? It’s only the result of hard-earned respect and consistency.”


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Learn More about McFadden’s career »

Listen to McFadden talk about his memorable experiences in law enforcement »

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