Raleigh names Estella Patterson as new police chief

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Friday, June 18, 2021
Raleigh names Patterson as new police chief
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The city of Raleigh announced on Thursday that it has hired Estella Patterson from the Charlotte police force as the new police chief to replace the retiring Cassandra Deck-Brown.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The city of Raleigh announced on Thursday that Estella Patterson has been named its newest police chief following a national search. She has been employed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for the past 25 years.

She will replace the retiring Cassandra Deck-Brown come Aug. 1.

"I am excited to announce that Estella Patterson will be the 30th Police Chief of the Raleigh Police Department," said City Manager Marchell Adams-David. "She understands the important issues that police departments across our country are facing today and she is more than capable of leading RPD in this new era of policing. Now more than ever, leadership matters, community connections matter and I believe Estella Patterson is the right person for the job.

"This was an extensive search process where we thoroughly vetted candidates from all over the country," Adams-David added. "I appreciate all the community involvement we received and am confident that we have found the best fit for our community and the Raleigh Police Department in Chief Patterson."

In a release Thursday, Patterson said: "I am honored at the opportunity to lead the fine men and women of the Raleigh Police Department. I am looking forward to strengthening the relationships with citizens and residents in the community and advancing 21st-century policing ideals to make Raleigh the safest city in America. I am thankful to all for their trust and confidence in me."

Patterson is a Deputy Chief with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and oversees the Patrol Services Group. She has been a member of CMPD since 1996, serving in several roles, including patrol officer, instructor, division commander, recruitment director, and Internal Affairs commander.

She earned an M.S. in criminal justice from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

"Being a police officer is hard in this particular time, much less a police chief where you're having to make very critical decisions sometimes decisions that people don't like," said Vicki Foster, the former assistant chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. "I think it speaks to her personality that during this time she still wants to be in leadership and she still wants to lead people and recruit the right people."

Patterson is also the President of the Greater Charlotte Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and an executive board member of the N.C. Police Executives Association. Additionally, she serves as a Commissioner on the N.C. Education and Training Standards Commission, which regulates the training, certification and policy making for all police officers in the state of North Carolina. Deputy Chief Patterson also served as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves from 1996-2005.

Hear from Patterson at her initial interview

Opening and closing statements from Estella Patterson in her initial interview for Raleigh police chief.

The three finalists, Deputy Superintendent Robert Lowe of the Cambridge Police Department, Police Chief Darryl McSwain of the Maryland-National and Patterson, pitched why they would be the perfect fit for the job in a virtual forum last week.

Patterson said in the forum that her goal is to ensure safety and is willing to both expand and improve upon practices within the Raleigh Police Department.

"I want to make Raleigh the safest city in the United States, and it's not far from that," Patterson said at the forum . "I desire to be the chief because I want to push forward 21st-century policing ideals. We are in a time now where policing is more important than ever to rebuild the relationships with the community."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, where Patterson most recently worked, released the following statement about her being hired in Raleigh:

"Deputy Chief Estella Patterson has had a distinguished career with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Since her career began almost 25 years ago, she has been an integral part of CMPD's success and is well-deserving of her new appointment as the Chief of Police at the Raleigh Police Department. The City of Raleigh is fortunate to get such an experienced and dedicated leader, and I wish her all the best."

Read the biographies of Raleigh's three police chief candidates here.

The city of Raleigh has narrowed down its nationwide search to three candidate finalists for a new city police chief as Cassandra Deck-Brown retires June 30.

Deck Brown will be retiring June 30, after more than 33 years with the department.

Deputy Chief Todd Jordan will serve as interim Chief of Police beginning July 1 until Patterson assumes her duties.