Update: Cerelyn Davis Will Be the Next Durham Police Chief | News

Update: Cerelyn Davis Will Be the Next Durham Police Chief


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WSOC in Charlotte is reporting that Mike Smathers was not offered the job of Durham police chief. Smathers, a major in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, was one of two finalists for the position, vacated last year by Jose Lopez. 

The other candidate is Cerelyn Davis, the deputy chief in the Atlanta Police Department. Presuming she has not withdrawn her candidacy, it seems fair to conclude that Davis will be the next chief of the Durham Police Department. (We have an e-mail out to the city's public affairs office, and will update when we hear back.) 

Davis started out as an APD patrol officer in 1986, and subsequently served as a detective and sergeant, with stints in human resources and public affairs. As we noted in a recent piece comparing Davis and Smathers' bios, Davis would arrive with a few tin cans clanking behind her: 
Davis was demoted and then fired by the APD in 2008, after an internal investigation found that she instructed detectives not to investigate the husband of an APD sergeant found to possess child pornography. A federal grand jury later indicted the man after APD took no action. Davis subsequently filed a gender discrimination complaint against the APD, accusing it of treating her differently than a male officer who was able to keep his job. Davis also appealed the decision to Atlanta's Civil Review Board, which overturned her termination on the grounds of "inconsistent testimony" by one of the detectives in the original investigation. She was then reinstated.
Update: This morning, the city announced that it had, in fact, offered Davis the job. She will begin on June 6. From the news release:
“I am pleased that Deputy Chief Cerelyn Davis has accepted the offer to lead the Durham Police Department,” [city manager Thomas] Bonfield said. “Deputy Chief Davis, during the course of her 30-year career, has demonstrated a broad array of skills and experience that will serve Durham well at this time. As we know, this is an extremely challenging time for policing, not only in Durham, but also throughout the country. Durham was quite fortunate to have two very strong candidates.”
Related: A bunch of people were shot in Durham last night. 


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