Local News

Cary's Top Cop Wants 'Informed, Aware, Involved Community'

Posted February 17, 2008 11:40 a.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2008 10:02 a.m. EST

— Cary's new police chief said she will work to keep the town one of the safest in the country and to create "an informed and aware and involved community."

Pat Bazemore outlined her priorities on WRAL's Sunday morning news, four days after she officially received her badge as Cary's top cop. She replaced Scott Cunningham, who resigned as police chief Dec. 13.

Bazemore said her top priority would be to ensure that officers have the tools at hand to work efficiently.

"The work we do is extremely important, and how we go about doing our job is just as important as the job itself," Bazemore said.

"We want to do what we need to do to continue to make Cary one of the safest places to live and work and play in the United States," she continued. "It's important we assign our resources in the most effective and efficient ways possible."

In the latest ranking of America's safest cities, Cary slipped six places from its previous ranking, but still came in at No. 14. Cary ranked fourth among cities with a population between 100,000 and 499,000, as figured by Morgan Quinto Press, which was recently acquired by CQ Press.

Bazemore said an increasing number of burglaries was partially responsible for that and vowed to work to reduce them.

"That is something we are focusing on a lot, with people leaving their garages open, construction site larcenies and burglaries," she said. "And it is a major issue where we can actually do things working with the community to decrease those crimes."

Cary's new online crime-mapping is one tool that Bazemore believes will let police and residents work together.

The site lets users to see what crimes have occurred around a specific address in the past year. The tool tracks 21 types of crimes, including burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts.

"It allows citizens to ... actually see what's going on in their neighborhood, things that are going on around them," Bazemore said. "We believe that with 94 percent of our citizens having access to the Web, that it's just the perfect way for our community to help us keep them more safe.

"For us, having an informed and aware and involved community helps us to do our job better."

Bazemore spent more than 20 years working her way up the ranks in the Cary Police Department. She became the department's first first female sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, deputy chief – and now, chief.

Along the way, her commitment to the department has remained the same, Bazemore said.

"I will do everything I can to keep our police department one of the most premier law enforcement agencies in North Carolina and to keep Cary safe," Bazemore said.