RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A number of Raleigh police officers have new titles after a promotion ceremony in Downtown Raleigh on Friday.

Chief Estella Patterson says she’s proud to promote the officers, but also proud to push for more incentives to keep officers in the department long-term and recruit new ones.

The officers were promoted to ranks including sergeant, lieutenant, and major. Chief Patterson says it’s a testament to what the department offers.

“We’re doing a number of things, we have incentives to keep our officers here, we’re doing take home cars, our council is looking at pay increases, which is wonderful at this time,” she said.

Still, she says the department is not immune to challenges that departments across the country are facing when it comes to officer retention.

“Just across the law enforcement spectrum period, we’re seeing people are leaving law enforcement, so our job is to make sure they want to stay here and they are here,” Chief Patterson said.

Right now, the department has 110 vacancies. Almost one year ago in April of 2022, the department reported 168 vacancies. Chief Patterson says incentives help bring that number down, but fostering a culture where officers want to work is what makes a real difference.

“More than anything, we want to create a culture where people want to be here, Raleigh is a wonderful city, this is an excellent police department, we want to continue to promote those things that make us really positive,” Chief Patterson said.

Friday’s ceremony also highlighted professional staff members, two of whom were promoted within the department.