Raleigh, N.C. — The three candidates vying for Raleigh's top cop position participated in a public interview of sorts Thursday night.
Raleigh's Interim Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, Chief Bryan Norwood of Richmond, Va., and Deputy Chief Malik Aziz of Dallas, Texas, fielded questions from City Manager Russell Allen during a public forum at the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex on West Hargett Street.
They addressed the challenges facing police officers, including changing technologies, tight budgets and gang problems.
"The emergence of gangs are wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods," Aziz said.
Deck-Brown said Raleigh faces additional challenges because of its growing population and juvenile crime.
"In the last few months, we have seen an increase in youth-based offenses, and they are violent offenses," she said.
Norwood said leading the Raleigh Police Department would come down to community policing and bringing fairness, accountability and commitment to the role of chief.
"It all comes back to listening to people – what they need and want – and working together," he said. "We have to go back to honesty. People have to believe in the chief of police."
Deck-Brown said she would lead with integrity, accountability and commitment – "coming to work everyday with a desire to make someone's life better."
Aziz said it's all about openness, teamwork and good leadership, adding that police chiefs should have a long-term plan.
"Where are we going one year, five years, 10 years from now?" he said.
Allen asked the audience to leave their thoughts on comment cards, which he promised to read and consider. He will ultimately hire the next police chief and plans to have a decision in the coming weeks.