Raleigh’s mayor weighs in on what she wants to see in new police chief

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new leader of Raleigh police means a new set of expectations.

The new chief will replace Cassandra Deck-Brown, who announced her retirement back in December.

“That commitment to community policing I think is the key to developing good relationships,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “I think that that is one of the most important things we can do. Where police officers are in the community. They know the members of the community. People know each other by name.”

She was named chief in 2013.

“She [Deck-Brown] brought a new perspective and a different perspective. I think that has been extremely valuable,” said Baldwin.

In Deck-Brown’s tenure as chief, she put in place things like body-worn cameras and mental health first-aid training.

According to the city’s website, she also implemented the Raleigh Citizen’s Police Academy and reality-based training with additional curriculum development for police officers.

However, she faced criticism.

For instance, the department’s handling of protests in late May and early June 2020 after George Floyd’s death. An independent firm was hired to review the matter. This year the firm released its recommendations.

“One piece was more specific training on First Amendment rights. How you deal with protests. I think we have followed some of their guidance. Our response has been much more measured,” Baldwin explained. “I’m hoping our new chief has very specific ideas about First Amendment rights. How you patrol in those instances. How you really serve and protect.”

Baldwin said for the city, this is the next step. She said there’s an increase in RPD’s budget.

Some of that money going towards hiring officers to do more community engagement work and help combat the rise of domestic violence this past year.

“But the question is, can we do better? The answer to that is yes,” Baldwin stated.

On Wednesday, Raleigh announced the three finalists to replace Deck-Brown.

Click here to read more on the finalists.

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