The two candidates for Winston-Salem police chief took part in a public forum Wednesday night that focused on the relationship between the department and the community. 

Major Cameron Selvey of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Winston-Salem Police Department Assistant Chief Catrina Thompson are the two vying for the position. The 90-minute session worked like a public job interview, with residents getting to ask direct questions to the officers.

Both Selvey and Thompson stressed the importance of engaging positively with the public. Thompson, a 23- year veteran of the department, referred to citizens as her “family,” while Selvey said he wanted to “break down biases.”

Another topic discussed was immigration, and whether or not they would accept alternate IDs for undocumented immigrants. While neither candidate spoke to that question directly, they both stated that the police department should not be asking about immigration status and deporting people, but rather upholding the law and protecting visitors and residents alike.

Chief Barry Rountree will be retiring on September 1st, and his replacement is expected to be named by the end of this month.  

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