Cassandra Deck-Brown Right on time for Black History Month, Raleigh has appointed its first African-American female police chief, Cassandra Deck-Brown. Deck-Brown is described as quiet-spoken and diminutive, but she speaks firmly about the significance of visiting city neighborhoods to informally chat with residents, the importance of mentoring underserved youth, the partnering of city departments to prevent crime, and the training needed to get her officers through tough economic times. “ You have to listen to your officers. You have to listen to the community ,” she said at a public forum last week. “ You have to re-invent yourself every day as an officer and learn new ways. You have to give your best to your officers so your officers can give their best to the community .” Deck-Brown has been in pursuit of her appointment for decades. In fact, her goal since applying to the Raleigh Police Department in 1987 was to “ hold the highest attainable position .” With hard work, dedication, and great performance, Deck-Brown’s goal became an achievement on Thursday when City Manager Russell Allen affirmed that her position was interim police chief was made permanent, effective Thursday. In addition to being the first African American female chief, Deck-Brown is also the first chief chosen from within the department since 1994 when Mitchell Brown, Deck-Brown’s brother in-law, was promoted to chief and served nearly seven years. Deck-Brown volunteers as a leader with her church’s Girl Scout troop and mentors at the Raleigh Police Department’s Charm School for teen girls. The Rev. Jemonde Taylor, priest for the 400-member St. Ambrose Episcopal Church Deck-Brown attends in Southeast Raleigh, said he is “ overjoyed and enthusiastic ” about her appointment. “ She is a model parishioner. One who lives out her faith ,” Pastor Taylor said.