The City of Raleigh made the announcement Wednesday that she will retire from the department effective April 1.
"It has been nothing less than an absolute honor to serve the City of Raleigh for 33 plus years. The capital city has always been a place of engagement -- from community to politics and from education to advancement, I have seen the strength of this community that I chose to be a part of in 1987. The efforts that the Raleigh Police Department has made to bridge the gap and to make a difference are notable," Deck-Brown said.
WATCH | Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown discusses retirement plan
Deck-Brown took up the mantle of the police chief of the Raleigh Police Department in February 2013. She joined the force shortly after graduating from East Carolina University in 1987.
During her time serving, she introduced the implementation of body-worn cameras, mental health first-aid training, the Raleigh Citizen's Police Academy, and Reality-Based Training with additional curriculum development for police officers, according to the city of Raleigh.
In the last year, Deck-Brown has faced a number of criticisms and calls for resignations following calls for police accountability and a citizen's review board in the capital city.
Local activists who pushed for change in leadership at the Raleigh Police Department like Kerwin Pittman and Dawn Blagrove call her retirement the first step in liberation.
"It is an important first step in the struggle for liberation," It is important that we celebrate every step and every win, and that the people feel this moment and take this moment to feel the power of their own voices," Blagrove said.
Pittman chimed in saying, "To see her leave, regardless, is a win-win for the people."
The two are now calling for a national search for the next police chief and one that will reevaluate the entire department.
"I thank the past and present mayors, Council members, and city managers, and our ever-growing community for supporting me and walking alongside me through this life-changing journey. My peer team of City of Raleigh department leaders are the essential pieces that keep the well-oiled machine moving forward," she noted. "Last, but certainly not least are the women and men who tirelessly commit themselves to a level of sacrifice that only occurs because of this unique calling to serve humankind. Though not perfect, they are human, and the calling of service speaks to a choice to serve in the best and worst of times. Though it's not often recognized, it is unconditional. To the women and men of the Raleigh Police Department - sworn and civilian, volunteers and part-time - I say thank you for all that you do and continue to do to make a difference in the great capital city of Raleigh."
The City of Raleigh has not announced a replacement for her position at this time.