After a year wrought with tension from protestors, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown plans to retire this spring. 

It’s unclear who her replacement will be. 

“It has been nothing less than an absolute honor to serve the City of Raleigh for 33-plus years,” Deck-Brown said in a statement Wednesday.

Deck-Brown’s retirement will be effective on April 1, 2021.

Deck-Brown, a graduate of East Carolina University, rose up through the ranks to helm the police force in 2013. She oversaw the rollout of body cameras for officers and community outreach programs including Interfaith Community Ambassadors for Responsive Engagement(I-CARE) and Addressing Crises through Outreach, Referrals, Networking, and Service(ACORNS). 

Recently, she also oversaw the creation of a police advisory council, which she vehemently opposed. 

Deck-Brown came under fire for her handling of a series of protests this year where officers used expired tear gas on protesters. An independent review of the department recommended a series of changes to the department, which officials are working to implement.

In March, protestors demonstrated outside the chief’s home after Raleigh police shot 26-year-old Javier Torres, who police say had a gun. Deck-Brown said the protest crossed a line. Yesterday, the News & Observer reported that she subsequently had a 24/7 security detail until at least Thanksgiving at a cost of more than $165,000.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin praised Deck-Brown for demonstrating “care and compassion” while approaching some of the city’s toughest issues. 

“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,” Baldwin said in a statement. “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.”

Baldwin told the INDY that it will be up to the new city manager, Marchell Adams-David, whether to hire internally for the position or conduct a national search. 

“I would be looking for is somebody with expansive experience that we can learn from who is a leader,” Baldwin said.

The council expects to get an update on the process for replacing Deck-Brown by mid-January, Baldwin told the INDY.

Deck-Brown thanked Baldwin and the other elected officials who have served during her tenure, but expressed special gratitude towards “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,” Deck-Brown said. “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.”

Deck-Brown planned to deliver remarks at 4 p.m. today at the police departments’ Six Forks Road headquarters. 

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