NCSU Graduate, Cassandra Deck-Brown, Offers An Exclusive Interview to the Nubian Message
Aaliyah Singleton | Staff Writer
Cassandra Deck-Brown, a trailblazer and inspiration was sworn in on February of last years as Raleigh’s first African-American female Police Chief.
Deck-Brown grew up in Bunn, North Carolina with her parents and two siblings. She described her childhood as being filled with “a lot of playtime outside.” She went on to say, “My sister and I played school a lot, and I played teacher a lot. During the course of the summer I played a lot of summer sports and did quite a bit of reading.”
Her parents were very insistent on her and her siblings caring and helping out others in the community. During the summers Deck-Brown described harvesting the crops from her mother’s garden, a garden so large that it could literally “feed the entire community.” Deck-Brown stated, “We always had a huge garden, my parents felt a need to grow enough to feed everyone in the community, if need be, so you know the summers were spent, part of it at least, was spent harvesting fruits and vegetables so my mother could can and preserve them for whenever they were need throughout the year.”
Given her desire to help others in her community, Deck-Brown wanted to pursue a career in which she could “leave folks in a better place than they had been.” This inclination would eventually influence Deck-Brown to change her major after she “fell in love” with the criminal justice field.
When asked about how she ended up in the criminal justice field she said, “I hunted around, I even took a few classes in computer science because I wasn’t quite sure what to consider. But I went and talked to an advisor in the Criminal Justice department because I wanted to know more about that field…actually recommended a couple of courses to take and told me just to try the two courses first and see what I thought about them. I was so intrigued by the curriculum that eventually I did go back and change my major.”
After graduating from East Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, she was inspired by witnessing a woman in uniform. Afterwards, she entered the Police Academy and went on to receive a Master’s degree in Public Administration at N.C. State. Witnessing a woman in uniform inspired her to eventually pursue a leadership position within the police department.
Despite the difficulties of working in field dominated by white males, Deck-Brown says she never felt disrespected or mistreated however, she quickly adds that,” the level of competition was there.”
Deck-Brown overall praised the efforts of her supportive fellow officers and also that of her training officers who she points out “not only explained things to you but gave you the opportunity to step into the situation, engage the community.”
Last year, News and Observer reported that former Raleigh police sergeant Rick Armstrong described Deck-Brown as being, ”without a doubt the best person for the job,” due to having won the respect of her fellow peers as she worked her way up through the ranks. He continued to say, “Everyone already trusts her and knows of her integrity. Everyone thinks she’s a great leader.”
Outside of work, Deck-Brown is involved in many different community programs and events. To her sisters in the Raleigh Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and fellow worshipers at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, she is merely Cassandra. At the church she serves as senior warden, a position that ranks her second-in-command to the pastor. Deck-Brown is also the leader of her local Girl Scout troop and helps in coordinating Charm School, a program organized by the Raleigh Police Department to keep at risk teenage girls from getting into trouble over the summer. She is a very busy lady indeed, one certainly worthy of her title as Police Chief and Black History maker.