Yesterday, Cerelyn J. (C.J.) Davis informed me of her resignation as Durham Police Chief, effective June 11, 2021, to become the next police chief of Memphis, Tennessee.
While I am sad to see her leave, I am excited for the next chapter of her extraordinary career. Her five-year tenure in Durham has been transformative as she became a valued member of this great community, championing community policing in the city as well as among police officers and staff.
It was not uncommon to see her at various programs and events, and at houses of worship throughout Durham. Notably, she created two sworn positions, the Hispanic Outreach and LGBTQ Liaison officers, aimed at improving relationships with these community members.
In addition, Chief Davis was well respected throughout the nation and state as she served as the 2019-2020 president of NOBLE, the preeminent national organization for Black law enforcement leadership, and was appointed to N.C. Governor Roy Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice last year.
Her impact has laid a solid foundation as we seek to reimagine policing in ways that engage community voices while improving and protecting the safety of residents of our great city. Please join me in wishing Chief Davis all the best as she leaves Durham to lead a department of more than 2,600 employees.
The City is fortunate that strong leadership remains in the Durham Police Department. An interim chief will be named within the coming days.
The search for a new police chief is a high priority for the City that will begin immediately. I anticipate taking 60-to-120 days to find the right combination of experience and fit for Durham. The community will be kept informed and involved during the process.
Again, please join me in wishing Chief Davis the best.