Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown has announced her retirement from the Raleigh Police Department effective April 1, 2021.
"Chief Deck-Brown has served the City of Raleigh with integrity and professionalism for more than 30 years,” said City Manager Ruffin Hall. “She has been at the helm of the Raleigh Police Department during a period of unprecedented growth. Her attention to detail, her understanding of the importance of public safety, and her push for community policing has made our City not only safer, but better. I want to thank Chief Deck-Brown for being a true example of what it is to be a public servant. Her impact on our police department will serve us well as we move forward.”
Deck-Brown was selected to lead the Raleigh Police Department in February 2013, capping a departmental career that began shortly after she graduated from East Carolina University in 1987. During the nearly eight years that she has led the department, Chief Deck-Brown has implemented and overseen high-profile initiatives that have shown positive results and served as models for other law enforcement agencies around the country. Some of those initiatives include: 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. Her implementation of Intelligence-Led Policing within the department guided operations, policy development, new initiatives, community-oriented policing, and problem-solving based on improved intelligence. Her deep belief in the power of community engagement and collaboration led her to create a position of trauma counselor for victims of violence and their families, making the Raleigh Police Department one of the only law enforcement agencies in the country to provide such a service to the public at no cost.
In 2016 Deck-Brown held a series of large-scale community meetings to assess the relationship between the RPD and the community, open positive lines of communication and discuss resources that would be helpful to the community. She also created the Raleigh Youth Summit, a day-long event for teens featuring interactive workshops, engaging discussions, and inspirational and motivational speakers. The event was designed to encourage and empower teens to see themselves as future leaders who have a valued voice in their communities and in City affairs.
Most recently, Deck-Brown established two programs that connect the RPD with the community in necessary, yet non-traditional ways, to further develop positive relationships while meeting specific needs. The I-CARE Team (Interfaith Community Ambassadors for Responsive Engagement) is a coalition of faith leaders who serve as ambassadors between police and the broader faith community in Raleigh. ACORNS (Addressing Crises through Outreach, Referrals, Networking, and Service) will utilize a team of social workers and sworn officers to assist individuals in crisis by connecting them with the resources needed to meet their individual goals.
“It has been nothing less than an absolute honor to serve the City of Raleigh for 33+ 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,” said Chief Deck-Brown.
"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.”
“I have been fortunate to work closely with Chief Deck-Brown while I was on Council and during the last year while serving as Mayor. I’ve seen first-hand how she approaches our City’s issues with care and compassion,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “She has built a coalition with faith leaders in our community that has helped strengthen the bond between our officers and the people they serve. We will certainly miss Chief Deck-Brown’s leadership and her commitment to the City of Raleigh, but wish her well in her much-deserved retirement.”
As Deck-Brown prepares to retire from the Raleigh Police Department, one of her lasting legacies will be the new state-of-the-art training academy. She has been overseeing the development of this project for close to 15 years. The facility will also house a museum to showcase the history of the RPD and preserve artifacts and relics of the Department.