Durham names new police chief after months-long search

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham has named Patrice V. Andrews as the city’s new police chief.
Andrews is currently the chief of police for the Town of Morrisville Police Department since 2016.

City Manager Wanda Page announced Andrews’ new position on Monday following an interview process with four finalists.

Andrews will take over as chief on Nov. 1.

“Andrews demonstrated that she is prepared and possesses the right combination of leadership skills, training and knowledge to lead the Durham Police Department into the future,” the city said in a release.
Andrews has more than 25 years of experience with law enforcement.

She previously worked with the Durham Police Department, where she began as a patrol officer in 1997.
Andrews takes over following the departure of C.J. Davis, who left to lead the Memphis Police Department earlier in the year.

During Andrews’ time with Morrisville, she led the implementation of the body camera program and adopted the recommendations for Project 8 Can’t Wait following George Floyd’s death.

Andrews has served as the chief of police in a town much different and smaller than Durham. For instance, Durham has 556 authorized officer positions, while Morrisville only has 48 officers. Also, when looking at crime, more than 200 people have been shot in Durham this year. In Morrisville, there have been zero shootings this year.

But Andrews is no stranger to the crime in Durham. During her time serving on the Durham police force, she supervised units within the criminal investigations division where she responded to major homicides. She also served on the street-level gang and narcotics enforcement unit and was an investigator in DPD’s Special Operations Division.

“This is a full circle pivotal moment for me, during a pivotal time in our city and police department,” Andrews said during a pre-recorded announcement released on Monday.

Durham City Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton said he and Andrews were part of a delegation who traveled to Boston in 2015. They explored ways to improve police and community relations.

“I think one thing is she needs to be honest and tell us what she needs as a department,” Middleton said. He added that Andrews understands Durham’s values and he looks forward to her bringing her leadership back to the department.

“She understands the posture we want our police to have and how to deploy them throughout the city and how to align it with our values,” Middleton said. “This is critical with our city’s development and she’s the right person to tackle those issues.”

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