Charlotte Deputy Chief Estella Patterson will be Raleigh’s next police chief, the city announced Thursday.

“I am honored at the opportunity to lead the fine men and women of the Raleigh Police Department,” Patterson said in a press release. “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.”

Patterson was selected following a nationwide search. She will start the job on August 1. Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, who hoped to retire in April, will be leaving her post July 1. Deputy Chief Todd Jordan will serve as interim chief for the month of July. 

Patterson currently serves as deputy chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, where she oversees patrol. She brings with her an impressive resume; not only has she worked at the department since 1996, but she’s also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelors from UNC-Charlotte. 

Patterson showed off her charisma and leadership qualities last week at a community forum, outshining the other two finalists for the job, Darryl McSwain and Robert Lowe. 

City Manager Marchell Adams-David was excited to name Patterson as the city’s 30th police chief. She is the second Black woman (Deck-Brown being the first) to serve as head of law enforcement in the city. 

 “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,” Adams-David said in a press release. “Now more than ever, leadership matters, community connections matter, and I believe Estella Patterson is the right person for the job.”

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