RALEIGH, N.C. — Cassandra Deck-Brown, who has been serving as interim police chief for the Raleigh, will retain the role permanently, making her the city’s first black female police chief.
Deck-Brown, 49, a 25-year veteran of the Raleigh Police Department, was one of three finalists in a nationwide search that drew in 48 applicants to replace former Chief Harry Dolan, who retired last year after leading the department for more than five years.
The two other finalists for his job were Chief Bryan Norwood of Richmond, Va., and Deputy Chief Malik Aziz of Dallas, Texas.
“Cassandra, knowing Raleigh and having served her whole career here, that certainly is an advantage, when you can step up and bring that to the table,” Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen said Thursday. “In this case, that certainly turned out to be an advantage.”
In a statement, Allen praised her professionalism, commitment and dedication to the citizens of Raleigh as well as the police department.
“I am confident she will both continue and build upon the department’s record of public safety effectiveness and community outreach,” Allen said in the statement.
Deck-Brown’s promotion takes effect Friday. Her annual salary will be $136,891.
In a public forum last week in which she and two other candidates were interviewed, Deck-Brown talked about some of the challenges facing Raleigh, including a growing population, budgets and violent crimes involving youth. She also said she would lead the department, which has an $88.4 million budget, and its 777 sworn officers with integrity, accountability and commitment.
Deck-Brown also won the endorsement of the Raleigh Police Protective Association, which represents nearly 600 police officers.
“Interim Chief Deck-Brown exhibits the characteristics that are essential in the next police chief: experience, knowledge, expertise and integrity,” RPPA President Eric DeSimone said in a statement Tuesday. “We are confident that Chief Deck-Brown will continue to lead this department and the community forward.”
Former RPPA president Rick Armstrong said police officers are glad to have her as chief.
“The majority of our members have worked beside her, know her well and respect her greatly,” Armstrong said.
Deck-Brown, who is from North Carolina, graduated from East Carolina University and received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from North Carolina State University.
She joined the Raleigh Police Department in 1987 and worked her way up the ranks as a detective in 1994, sergeant in 1997, lieutenant in 2002, captain in 2003 and major in 2006, when she assumed leadership of the police department’s Administrative Services Division.
She was promoted to deputy chief in June 2011, after temporarily commanding daily operations of the department’s Internal Affairs Unit and several other operations.
She took over as head of the police department upon Dolan’s retirement on Oct. 1.
“My goal was to hold the highest attainable position on the Raleigh Police Department,” Deck-Brown said last week at the candidate forum. “I have served in every supervisory capacity the Raleigh Police Department has had.”
Reporter: Adam Owens
Photographer: Mark Simpson
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