Local News

Former Raleigh chief teaches police how to keep cool

Posted February 5, 2016

— In addition to their normal training, the 14 police officers who will start patrolling the streets of Fayetteville on Monday received a crash course from former Raleigh police chief Harry Dolan on how to keep interactions with people from escalating into violence.

Dolan, who retired in 2012 from the Raleigh Police Department, is now a consultant who specializes in de-escalation, and he also taught veteran Fayetteville officers how to keep their cool in heated situations. Staying professional can turn a potentially deadly situation around, he said.

"Let's make sure we are so disciplined that it doesn't matter who's taping us – that should not even be coming into the equation," he said before acting out such a scenario. "Here's what I need for you to do, sir. Here's your options. This is why I'm asking you to do this. Whenever it's safe for me to do that.

"I want our officers to do that, and when they do that, they turn the professionalism up one more notch."

Since Dolan has been working with the Fayetteville Police Department, authorities said, the agency's use of force has gone down.

"Our officers are doing a better job of communicating with individuals on the street both in criminal events and in just day-to-day run-ins with the community," said Sgt. Charles Cochran, a training officer for the department. "It's making our relationship with the community that much better."

Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock said the success of the training is measured by the numbers. There were no officer related deaths reported in 2015, despite the fact that his officers faced several armed suspects during the year, including one who had already fired his weapon when officers arrived.

"In those cases, they were able apprehend that individual using good de-escalation techniques, providing themselves good cover, (using) good tactics and slowing everything down, and everybody went home safe that day," Medlock said.


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