Local News

Raleigh announces finalists for police chief

Posted January 10, 2013

— The search for a new Raleigh police chief has been narrowed down to three finalists, city officials announced Thursday.

The candidates for top cop include interim chief Cassandra Deck-Brown; Bryan Norwood, chief of police in Richmond, Va.; and Malik Aziz, deputy chief of police in Dallas.

Aziz, 44, was recently a finalist in the search for a new Fayetteville police chief. Aziz, who would have been Fayetteville’s first black police chief, lost the post Wednesday to Harold Medlock, deputy police chief for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

The three finalists were winnowed from about 50 applicants who responded to a nationwide search to replace former Chief Harry Dolan, who retired Oct. 1 after a 32-year career in law enforcement. Deck-Brown, 49, has been serving as interim chief since his departure.

Aziz has served with the Dallas Police Department since 1992. He holds an MBA from the University of Dallas.

Norwood, 46, graduated from Hampton University and began his law enforcement career in Connecticut, where he became police chief in Bridgeport. He was hired in 2008 as chief in Richmond, where he manages 760 sworn officers, 170 civilian employees and an annual budget of more than $79 million. 

The Raleigh Police Department has 777 sworn officers and a budget of $88.4 million for the current fiscal year.

City Manager Russell Allen invited residents to attend a public forum with the finalists on Jan. 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the council chamber of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett St.

Residents will not be allowed to ask questions of the finalists during the forum, but they will be given a form to rank their preference and offer written comments. Residents can meet the finalists during a post-forum reception in the lobby.

The public forum will be shown on cable channel 11.

Allen said he hopes to announce the winner shortly after a final evaluation, which will include reviewing the feedback forms from residents.

The chosen candidate will become Raleigh's second African-American police chief, officials said. Former chief Mitch Brown, the city's first and only African-American chief, retired in 2000.

73 Comments

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  • Sherlock Jan 11, 6:24 p.m.

    Nothing like getting the runner up from Fayetteville as chief.

  • Terkel Jan 11, 5:44 p.m.

    djangothemagnificent, it is hard for some people to accept blacks as equally or better able as anyone else. That is undeniably true.

    Some are simply ignorant and choose to remain so. Let's not address them here; there's little chance of changing them.

    Some have seen it happen that a less qualified person has been treated with an unfair advantage because of color. Consider that not all "advantage" is clear cut as in hirings and promotions; it might even be "soft prejudice", but it's the elephant in the room. While not an excuse for ugly behavior, resentments can simmer into hardhearted prejudice over a period of time.

    Is there a feasible way to dismantle the framework of suspicion? I believe so. We must dismantle the double standard and it occurs to me that whites can't do it alone, any more than blacks could during the 60s, despite the courage they showed. Both - all - have to get unstuck. Just my rambling.

  • the opinion no one asked for Jan 11, 3:32 p.m.

    all i can think of is a line from gabby johnson in the movie blazing saddles near the beginning of the movie, anyone familiar with the movie will get where i am going

  • torchhappysean Jan 11, 1:57 p.m.

    I still have a hard time understanding why Raleigh is outsourcing the police chief job instead of promoting one of its carrer officers instead. It seems to me that it would be much better to promote someone who has actually spent years patrolling Raleigh's streets and has a good understanding of crime in Raleigh than bringing in an outsider who is going to try to treat Raliegh's crime like the city's crime where they came from. Crime here is different in nature than say a giant city like Dallas because we are not as big as Dallas nor are we close to the boarder with another country. Come on people wake up!!!!

  • djangothedissilent Jan 11, 9:38 a.m.

    It's hard for some people to accept the fact that african americans are just as or even more qualified than their white counterparts. We have come a long way from the Jim Crow south but some of those beliefs are still alive and well.

  • sinenomine Jan 11, 9:23 a.m.

    I've got nothing against any of the three candidates, and I'm sure all are highly qualified. Any of the three would make a fine police chief.

    That said, if three white faces were staring at us today from the finalists' pictures there would be a firestorm of adverse public opinion. I'm not suggesting that there should be, only observing what I wholeheartedly believe to be true. Take it for what it's worth, if anything.

  • working for deadbeats Jan 10, 7:36 p.m.

    Choose Deck Brown, please!!!

  • Terkel Jan 10, 7:25 p.m.

    "affirmative action is killing this country. You have to hire people based on their race/sex, not on their ability."

    And then you can't fire them without Barber screaming racism. But what's really bad is the ones who really do merit their jobs being lumped in with the rest.

  • UNCRules123 Jan 10, 7:25 p.m.

    djangothedissilent said - "If all the final candidates where white this conversation would not be taking place because it would be considered the norm. Do any of you think for one minute the City of Raleigh management and council would consider someone not qualified to hire for such a position?"

    WRONG - if all the candidates were white the NAACP would be screaming about discrimination, unfair, etc.
    I believe the City of Raleigh (not Wake County I'm referring to City of Raleigh only) is approx. 50% minority (black), therefore I believe the candidates should reflect the makeup of the community. Its only fair...

  • Emperor Jan 10, 6:42 p.m.

    @ djangothedissilent "Do any of you think for one minute the City of Raleigh management and council would consider someone not qualified to hire for such a position?"

    Ummm . . . Yeh! they would. If it meant that they could have someone run interference for them against groups like the NAACP.

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