Raleigh ‘is a safe city,’ says new police chief, hours before latest shooting

·3 min read

Tackling violent crimes, engaging the community and retaining officers are some of the new Raleigh police chief’s top priorities.

Estella Patterson, just days into her role, called community events like Tuesday’s National Night Out a critical way to help address violence.

But just hours later, the city saw yet another shooting, police reported.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. Officers responded to a call in the 4200 block of Crowfield Drive and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound, the Raleigh Police Department stated in a news release late Tuesday night He was taken to the hospital, where his condition is unknown, and a suspect is in custody.

As of July 27, 14 people have died in Raleigh from gun violence and a total of 467 crimes have been committed involving guns, according to police data. That’s higher than the past two years, The News & Observer has reported.

Seven people, including a 31-year-old man killed while volunteering at Helping Hand Mission, were shot this summer over eight days.

Raleigh’s new police chief Estella Patterson visits with officers during a National Night Out event at Midtown Park in North Hills, on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C.
Raleigh’s new police chief Estella Patterson visits with officers during a National Night Out event at Midtown Park in North Hills, on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C.

“Raleigh is a great city. It’s a safe city,” Patterson said. “It was voted the number two best place to live and we are thankful for that. I am thankful for that coming into it.”

“But we know too if we’re not careful we can see violent crime begin to rise and get kind of out of control,” she continued. “So, for me, again, it’s really working with the community to build the relationships.”

If communities know the police officers in their neighborhood, they are more likely to tell them what’s happening there, she said.

The rain canceled some National Night Out events — normally cookouts and other gatherings for neighbors to meet one another and police officers — but Patterson went to three to meet community members and officers.

Patterson will be officially sworn in as the new police chief Aug. 12 at the Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh.

She replaces Cassandra Deck-Brown who retired this summer after more than 30 years with the Raleigh Police Department.

Police are still investigating Tuesday night’s shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP or go to raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and email reporting options. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.

Durham’s police chief search

Durham is also getting a new police chief. More than 40 people have applied to succeed CJ Davis who left to become the Memphis police chief this June.

Of the 42 applicants, 11 have been selected to “undergo a more extensive process” over the next two weeks, according to a news release.

The top three to five candidates will meet with police department staff and community members in September.

The city is still on track with the timeline on its website, with the goal of having the position offered by late September or early October, and the selected candidate possibly starting by late November, the city stated in a news release Monday.

The Durham Report

Calling Bull City readers! We've launched The Durham Report, a free weekly digest of some of the top stories for and about Durham published in The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. Get your newsletter delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday at 11 a.m. featuring links to stories by our local journalists. Sign up for our newsletter here. For even more Durham-focused news and conversation, join our Facebook group "The Story of my Street."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting