Durham Police Chief Leaving To Join National Park Service
Posted December 18, 2001 3:35 a.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — Durham Police Chief Teresa Chambers is leaving the Bull City to become chief of the United States Park Police for the National Park Service.
Chambers becomes the first woman to hold the position, which oversees a staff of 800. She replaces Robert Langston, who retired in April.
"The opportunity to lead the men and women of the prestigious U.S. Park Police force is the professional opportunity of a lifetime," said Chambers. "I am honored to have been selected for such a significant leadership position, and I look forward to serving both my profession and our nation in such a worthwhile undertaking."
"The national average for chief of police is somewhere between 3 and 5 years," Chambers said. "We're political appointments, so oftentimes a chief will hit a high point and then hang on a little too long and a new manager comes in and something changes in geographic location and the chief is asked to leave. The wise chief will come in, help get some things in place, and then step aside to let a new leader move it to the next plateu."
"This department has never been healthier," she said. "It is in such good shape right now that it is with a great deal of pride, although with a great deal of sadness also, that I move aside and let the team continue to carry it forward."
Some of Chambers' accomplishments as Durham Police Chief include implementing bi-weekly Crime Abatement Briefings, modeled after a similar program adopted by the New York City Police Department, and development of a Special Investigations Division, designed for rapid deployment to areas needing increased police presence.
She has also been credited with turning around a troubled police department by improving morale and reducing crime.
Prior to working in Durham, Chambers spent 21 years with the Prince George's County, Maryland Police Department. She started out there as a police cadet in 1976 and left as a major.
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