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A retired Winston-Salem police chief reflects on the job as city hires next chief

Patricia Norris was the city's chief from 2004-2008. She told News 2 she was big on community policing.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A retired Winston-Salem police chief is reflecting on her time in office in the early 2000s. 

This comes as the city narrowed it down to four finalists to become the next chief. 

News 2 spoke with Patricia Norris to get insight on what the next chief can expect on the job.

Norris's duties as the Winston-Salem police chief date back to 2004. She retired in 2008 before becoming Winston-Salem State University's police chief. 

"I was really big on community policing," said Norris. 

She said being the city's police chief comes with wearing many hats. 

"They need to be available to the community. Also, they need to be available to the folks that work with them," said Norris. 

She says building relationships as the police chief is important, especially during a time when crime in the city doesn't look the way it used to.

 "It was not as many shootings as it was. There were quite a few because we had a few homicides but just the random shootings throughout the city that is more prevalent now than it was then," said Norris.

In a town hall Thursday, community members spoke on how gun violence impacts their lives. One woman explained how there was a bullet hole in her bedroom window. 

Norris says the availability of weapons is an issue that needs to be addressed.

"Who's getting the gun and what's the intent of people who have these guns? You probably never hear of anyone with the carry conceal being involved in these incidents. These are people who don't have these carry conceals," said Norris. 

As the city narrows down who will become its next police chief, Norris says accuracy and trust in the role are just as important.

"If information needs to be disseminated to the public get it out as soon as possible so that it will prevent the rumors and false information from getting out to the public," said Norris.


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