Local News

Raleigh interim chief gets permanent nod

Posted January 31, 2013

— 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.

Raleigh Interim Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown Raleigh promotes Deck-Brown to police chief

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."

84 Comments

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  • stormtrooper76 Feb 1, 2013

    Congrats Chief Brown! You are more than qualified and it's refreshing to see that you've earned this promotion by working your way up the ranks within the department.

    Kudos to Raleigh for NOT hiring a rent-a-chief that skips around from department to department after they screw it up!

    Other police agencies need to follow suit.

  • LocalYokel Feb 1, 2013

    NCHighlander, It doesn't take an act of God to pull over bad drivers and give them a citation and take them to jail - that's just good police work.

  • djofraleigh Jan 31, 2013

    Folks, race & gender are issues when hiring the face of a city's police department. I expect soon Raleigh will have a chief with a Hispanic name. That doesn't mean this new chief isn't qualified in any way. All one has to be is qualified, not the best. Who knows who is best. Raleigh PD had one problem, the rank & file were unhappy with the objective evaluation system. This new chief has solved that morale problem. She will do fine, I think.

    By the three choice method, and from what I saw of the two out-of-town candidates, the city got the support of the existing officers for she was surely preferable to either of those two unknowns. Smart move. I think LEO morale was primary concern of the city.

    Promote from within to maintain status quo -- why change?

    The school board did the same to get rid of Tata and make teachers/administrators happy. They don't want change, except back to what has been going on.

    Change is uncomfortable, scary and the status quo is inert.

  • NCHighlander Jan 31, 2013

    Chief, Cleanse our roads of bad drivers and you will be a hero!
    LocalYokel

    She got the Chief's job. She ain't God!

  • westernwake1 Jan 31, 2013

    "Let us please recognize Chief Deck-Brown's abilities, knowledge and experience. She has complete control over what she can learn and none whatsoever on her gender or skinshade. In other words these traits do not define a person - they are just incidental. She has demonstrated that she is a very capable "law enforcement officer" and her success should be entirely ascribed to her ability." - Conservative

    Well stated! I expect that Chief Deck-Brown will do an excellent job.

  • BRIAN0705196743 Jan 31, 2013

    She may be very qualified. Can anyone guarantee me affirmitive action policies were not used in this case?

  • mojridingrb Jan 31, 2013

    "If you had followed the story the other two candidates they were interviewing were African Americans also."

    hmmm I am certain there were no white applicants that applied that were more qualified then the 3 finalists or maybe none applied at all.

  • wakemom Jan 31, 2013

    I constantly read comments on and how many of you say that you are not racist. I just cannot tell!

  • csw Jan 31, 2013

    I don't understand where all the comments about affirmative action is coming from. If you had followed the story the other two candidates they were interviewing were African Americans also.

  • Conservative Jan 31, 2013

    Let us please recognize Chief Deck-Brown's abilities, knowledge and experience. She has complete control over what she can learn and none whatsoever on her gender or skinshade. In other words these traits do not define a person - they are just incidental. She has demonstrated that she is a very capable "law enforcement officer" and her success should be entirely ascribed to her ability.

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