RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh’s new police chief Estella Patterson was out meeting officers and community members during the National Night Out event on Tuesday.
Patterson said officers connecting with community members, like at National Night Out is important to reducing crime.
“If we’re gonna really attack our violent crime we’re gonna the community’s help,” Patterson said. “It’s not something we can just do by police alone.”
Patterson started the job this week and she said she spent much of Monday in meetings.
She comes to Raleigh as the city’s seen an increase in gun-related crimes. There have been about 100 more through July 27 of this year compared to the same time period last year. The numbers show gun crimes were up from 370 to 467.
CBS 17 asked her about her plans to reduce gun violence.
“It’s just really working with the community to build the relationships because we know when the community’s involved then they’re more active to tell us what is occurring in their neighborhoods,” Patterson said. “If there’s individuals causing problems, if there’s violence, they’re gonna pass that information on to us.”
Patterson said top priorities include officers becoming more involved in the community and hiring more officers.
“We’re seeing not just Raleigh Police Department but other agencies as well, that there’s a deficit,” she said. “That we have officers leaving this profession due to retirement, they’re changing job careers, and so it’s important that we have enough officers to be able walk the streets.”
Patterson was previously a deputy chief in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. From her time there she said she will be bringing a focus on community engagement, and recruiting and retaining officers.
Multiple National Night Out events in Raleigh on Tuesday were canceled due to rain.