New RPD chief's 100-day plan emphasizes rebuilding community trust, recruiting new officers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- New Raleigh Police Chief Stella Patterson got a warm welcome Thursday night in southeast Raleigh.

She laid out her 100-day plan for the department even though she hasn't reached 100 days on the job just yet.

"We need to determine how to rebuild after last year, how to rebuild after that protest and how to bring our activists together with our police department to talk to one another," she said.

Her priorities include reducing violent crime, improving community engagement and strengthening her organization from within.

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She said she's losing officers left and right, so she's determined to keep the ones she has and focus on their mental health.

Recruiting is also big.

"It's important to me that we have enough officers, so we can do a lot of proactive work, which we haven't been able to do with the pandemic," Patterson said.

If she had her full complement of officers, it would be 800, but she said she's far short of that now.

She expressed how she's focused on recruiting people who are more a reflection of the communities they serve.

Patterson spoke to a room of about 50 people at the Chavis Memorial Park community center.

"I like the fact that she's doing this so people can get involved and get to meet her so we all know what's going on," said Margaret Egerton, who lives in a senior community two miles from where the meeting was held Thursday. "There need to be more of us here. I would like to know what kinds of things she can do for us in our area."

Patterson said she wants to visit every community but southeast Raleigh is a priority.

"This is who I am," Patterson said. "It's the genuine part of who I am. It's getting to know people, see people, seeing our young Black men out in the community and that is important to me. If it means I have to stay here for four hours to shake hands and talk to the community, I'm willing to do that."
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