RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The three candidates vying to be Raleigh’s next police chief participated in a forum Thursday night. It was moderated by the firm the city hired to conduct the search.
For two hours, the three finalists answered questions, trying to make their case.
First up was Rob Lowe, the Deputy Superintendent of the Cambridge Police Department in Massachusetts.
“The police department was really trying to align the work that they’re doing with the city. I really enjoyed reading about the gun violence reduction plan and how that was aligned with the strategic plan,” Lowe said.
Then there’s Darryl McSwain, he’s the Chief of the Maryland National Capital Park Police.
“I will not necessarily see this as just a job. But more importantly as a sacred trust, between me, the government, but also every citizen,” McSwain said.
Finally, there’s Estella Patterson. She’s the Deputy Chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
“We are in a time now when policing where it is more important than ever that we begin to rebuild the relationships with the community. I have experience in that area,” Patterson said.
They were asked about training officers, building morale, holding officers accountable, handling protests that turn violent, and building trust within communities.
“Until we address the issues of systemic racism in policing that we’re not going to be able to move forward,” Lowe said.
“Go to the community and educate them on the extent of the actual problem,” McSwain said.
“We should not just be stopping an individual because their tag is expired or there’s an inspection violation on their vehicle. We should make traffic stops where there is a public safety issue,” Patterson said.
After the forum, CBS 17 went to Rick Armstrong, who’s the Vice President of Teamsters Local 391, which represents Raleigh police officers, for reaction.
He didn’t have a favorite candidate. “Not at this time… We are just evaluating all of them,” Armstrong explained.
CBS 17 also spoke with Sheila Alamin-Khashoggi, she’s the Chair of the Police Advisory Board. She said Lowe was her favorite.
“He was very, very thorough in everything he said about from homelessness to coming to Raleigh and visiting,” Sheila Alamin-Khashoggi said.
Raleigh’s city manager will make the decision on who the next police chief will be. It’s expected to be announced at the city council meeting on Tuesday, June 15.