RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh’s new police chief was officially sworn in on Thursday morning.
Chief Estella Patterson, who began her role on Aug. 1, had her official swearing-in ceremony today at 10 a.m. in Meymandi Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.
Patterson’s husband, Lance Patterson, pinned the insignia of the police chief on her uniform.
Once sworn in, the new chief thanked her family, pastor, former Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, city employees, and the people in attendance.
Patterson promised that she wouldd push for the community to work together with police despite opposing views, accountability to mend the divide between police and the community, to invest in and for her officers, and to make “this great city greater.”
“I will actively engage, and reach out, and be proactive with all the various communities within this greater community,” she said.
Patterson previously served as deputy chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
She had been with CMPD since 1996, serving in several roles, including patrol officer, instructor, division commander, recruitment director and Internal Affairs commander.
“I’ve been in this profession for a long time. I know what it entails, what we see on a daily basis, what we have to endure and just looking through lens knowing our officers are taught to be rigid, to be resilient, however they are human beings,” she said.
Patterson was selected out of three finalists on June 17. She is the third female and third African American police chief in Raleigh history.
She said she is analyzing crime stats and making sure officers are being placed effectively. Patterson also said she is working to recruit more officers and update equipment.
Patterson said she has booked meetings with different community groups and activists while also planning to visit neighborhoods herself.
“My background is community policing. Going out, talking to members of the community, engaging that silent majority if you will, to be a part of everything that’s going on with RPD,” she said.
Patterson went to UNC Charlotte, University of Oklahoma, the FBI National Academy and served in the U.S. Army Reserves.