East Carolina University graduate and acting interim chief Cassandra Deck-Brown was chosen as police chief for Raleigh. She is the first African-American woman to head the department and the first chief chosen from within the department since 1994.
That year, Deck-Brown’s brother in-law, Mitchell Brown, was promoted to chief and served nearly seven years.
Deck-Brown has been with the Raleigh Police Department since 1987 and worked her way up to deputy chief. She was selected for the position following a national search.
She grew up in Franklin County but spent summers with her mother’s relatives in Philadelphia, where she saw a female police officer on the street one day. The sight of a woman in uniform and in control inspired her, she said in 2006.
Deck-Brown graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in criminal justice, then entered the police academy and the Raleigh Police Department in 1987. She worked as a patrol officer, a crime prevention-community relations officer and a detective, before earning a master’s degree in public administration from N.C. State University in 1995.
Promoted to captain in 2003, she became commander of what is now the North District. She later headed the department’s Administrative Services Division and was promoted to deputy chief last summer.