Local News

Ewell Names Chambers Police Chief

Posted December 20, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— After eight months of waiting, Durham has a new police chief. City Manager Lamont Ewell appointed the Bull City's newest worker Friday, in time for Christmas as he promised.

Her name is Teresa Chambers. She's from Prince George's County Maryland, and brings more than 20 years of experience to Durham. Chambers starts Tuesday, January 20th.

WRAL spoke with Chambers by phone Friday night. She says she's looking forward to working with the department and the community. Chambers also aims to make the Durham PD one of the best in the country.

The 40-year-old police major will be the first female police chief of a large North Carolina city. Chambers believes the challenges she will face will be no different than those she has already experience working her way up through the ranks.

Chambers' career with the Prince George's County Police Department began in 1976, when she began as a Cadet. Over the following 23 years, she worked her way up to Major. During that time, Chambers earned 151 letters of commendation and appreciation.

City Manager Ewell says the decision to hire Chambers came down to the fact that Durham was a better fit for her than for her competitor Robert White. In Maryland, Chambers work in a diverse police district "provided valuable experience to tackle Durham's needs," Ewell explained.

Ewell went on to say that Chambers' experience included work with African-Americans, Hispanics, whites and Asians. Thanks to her dedication, crime in her district was significantly reduced despite the touch issues of race and class that come along with diverse communities.

In addition, Chambers brings with her an impressive knowledge of using technology in law enforcement.

Chambers earned her bachelor's degree in law enforcement from the University of Maryland and her master's degree in applied behavioral science from John Hopkins University.

When Chambers arrives in Durham, she plans to meet with the Durham Police Department staff and Durham residents to "get the widest possible input as seen by the police and the community."

Chambers' appointment comes 14 months after former Chief Jackie McNeill relinquished his administrative duties amid rising crime, ongoing litigation and staffing shortages.

From Staff and Wire Reports