RPD internal podcast aims to improve working conditions, Chief says

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In an internal Raleigh Police Department podcast that CBS 17 obtained a copy of, Chief Estella Patterson addressed officers and staff as her first 100 days just came to an end.

An RPD spokesperson said the issues discussed in the podcast were recommendations made to the Chief by RPD staff committees and how Patterson wants to go about tackling them.  

“I believe that our number one priority right now, internally, is recruitment and retention,” Patterson said.

Patterson said she’s pushing for incentives for officers who recruit new ones, officers who join from other departments and for those who speak languages RPD needs, such as Spanish.

She also wants the department to put together a committee looking at pay.

“I am strongly advocating, and we’re gonna put together a pay plan committee, to look at right-sizing pay to correct the issues we’re seeing continually with leapfrogging and compression,” she said. “(We) also (want) to make RPD’s salary more competitive with surrounding agencies.”

Patterson said the department’s looking at extending the use of take-home cars, something she said would add more flexibility and make RPD more visible in the community. 

As RPD pushes to get more officers in, Patterson also said it’s important to learn from senior officers before he or she retires.

“As I look across the department, I realize that we are losing many veteran officers to retirement, and with them, we’re losing institutional knowledge,” Patterson said. “So as part of succession planning, I’m critically evaluating our organizational structure to allow for more movement and cross-training opportunities.”

Despite her goals, Patterson said the cost and details of some of the initiatives still need to be worked out.

CBS 17 asked RPD for an interview with Patterson to discuss the topics, but a spokesperson said she was not available.

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