Local News

New Police Chief Meets Durham Residents

Posted December 23, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Durham says it has found a proven crime fighter in its new police chief. Tuesday, the Bull City had a chance to meet the woman charged with the task of turning the city's crime rate around.

Teresa Chambers was introduced to the public Tuesday as the first police chief in a large city in North Carolina. Since the announcement of her hiring, much as been said about Chambers' extensive experience in law enforcement. She spent 21 years in police work in Prince George's County, Maryland. Durham residents say they hope she can make a difference here.

The Durham City Council chamber was filled with excitement as the new chief shook hands and talked to city officials. Chambers says she already has a game plan in place.

Sgt. Phil Wiggams is the president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Durham County. He says after years of controversy within the police department, Chambers is a welcome addition.

Durham Police Officer F. L. Francis says she's confident Chambers will deliver the leadership that's needed on the force.

City leaders are telling the new chief to look only to the future, but Chambers acknowledges she has a battle to wage against years of rising crime in the Bull City. Crime increased there by 12 percent last year alone, and drugs have been a big problem for years.

Chambers takes over her new position January 20. She is now in the process of moving to Durham with her husband.

Photographer:Ed Wilson