Police Chief's Office

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Meet the Chief Office of Professional Standards Internal Affairs Research and Planning Unit

Dedicated civilian and sworn employees who work under the Office of the Chief carry out a variety of administrative and community support functions for the Raleigh Police Department.

Assigned to this office are the

  • Public Affairs Office
  • Research and Planning Unit
  • Community Policing Coordinator
  • Finance Unit and Transcriptions
  • Office of Professional Standards
Raleigh Chief of Police Estella D. Patterson smiling in front of NC State flag and American Flag

Raleigh Chief of Police Estella D. Patterson 

Meet the Chief

Estella D. Patterson was appointed Chief of the Raleigh Police Department on August 1, 2021. As Raleigh’s senior law enforcement official, Chief Patterson leads the capital city’s police department of over 900 sworn and civilian employees. With a goal of making Raleigh the safest city in the nation, Chief Patterson’s priorities are to reduce violent crime, increase community engagement, and increase efficiency and morale throughout the Department.

Before joining the Raleigh Police Department, Chief Patterson served with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department from 1996-2021 in numerous capacities including patrol officer, instructor, recruitment director, Internal Affairs commander, and Patrol Services Deputy Chief. Aside from serving her community as a public safety professional, Chief Patterson served her country as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve from 1996-2005. Her service included combat tours to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian and to Iraq as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Chief Patterson currently serves as an executive board member and second vice-president of the N.C. Police Executives Association. She is also a Commissioner on the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission which regulates the training, certification, and policy making for all police officers in the state of North Carolina.  Additionally, she is a member of the Eastern NC chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

Chief Patterson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her Master of Science in criminal justice from the University of Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and attended the 56th Session of the Senior Management Institute for Police. As a law enforcement professional and dedicated public servant, Chief Patterson’s passions lie in building collaborative partnerships in the community and engaging the youth through positive mentoring initiatives.


Office of Professional Standards

The Office of Professional Standards was formed in 2012 and serves under the Chief's Office. This division includes a major, a captain, three lieutenants, and six sergeants. The office encompasses the Internal Affairs Unit, Inspections Unit and Accreditation Unit.

Internal Affairs

The Raleigh Police Department is dedicated to serving the community in an efficient, effective, and professional manner. The Internal Affairs Unit helps maintain public confidence and trust in the Department, by serving as a point of contact for members of the public who wish to commend or question the performance of the Department's officers. You can contact internal.affairs@raleighnc.gov

Learn More about the Internal Affairs Unit

Research and Planning Unit

The Research and Planning Unit is a part of the Chief’s Office and is led by a Sergeant. The Research and Planning Unit is responsible for providing planning and research for the development, implementation and/or the operation of specialized departmental programs and operations by utilizing a variety of analysis techniques. The unit is responsible for preparing complex reports provided to the Chief of Police and members of the leadership team. The unit conducts or participates in studies and research projects for the Department and provides in-depth research on law enforcement trends. The unit maintains the multi-year strategic business plan that documents departmental objectives, initiatives, and milestones, in addition to, the response and coordination of surveys. The unit also provides support and assistance to other Department employees, city staff, and law enforcement partners.

Research and Planning Lieutenant: ER Goodwin | Phone: 919-996-1062

Research and Planning Specialist: Cynthia Adams | Phone: 919-996-1344

A limited number of specialized program internships with the Research and Planning Unit are available.

Deadlines for applications are as follows:

Summer 2022:
March 28, 2022

Fall 2022:
June 17, 2022

For information regarding an internship with the Research and Planning Unit, contact Sergeant J.A. Borneo.





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