RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh police chief Jane Perlov released some disturbing health news Tuesday that is causing concern in the community.
In an e-mail to her officers, she wrote: "Last Friday, I had surgery at Rex Hospital and learned that I have breast cancer."
Perlov has another surgery scheduled for Thursday. Deputy Chief Clarence Lewis, a 26-year-veteran of the department, will take the reins while Perlov recuperates.
"We're blessed to have one of the best police chiefs in the country in Chief Perlov," said city councilman Mike Regan, who has seen Perlov in action as a member of the council's Public Safety Committee. "I'm just looking forward to having her back fulltime and healthy."
Mayor Charles Meeker, who also has worked closely with Perlov, said the chief's toughness should help her combat the cancer.
"Jane Perlov is a tough person both personally and professionally, and that will help her address this issue," Meeker said. "We're very fortunate to have Chief Deputy Clarence Lewis there who can run the show in her absence."
Of course, Lewis will not be running the show alone -- he has a full staff of commanders to help.
As for Perlov's advice to her officers, she wrote: "Some have asked if there is anything more they could do, and my response has been that they should just keep on doing what they do day in and day out to serve and protect the citizens of our city."
In her e-mail, Perlov wrote that she will stay in touch with her staff throughout her treatment. She also thanked all those in the department who already have given her their support and prayers.
For nearly three years, Perlov has fought crime with all her might. Everyone who knows her knows she is tough, and she is a fighter -- attributes her colleagues hope will serve her well in the coming days.
"I think the best thing any of us can do is just pray for her and pray for her doctors," Regan said. "I've already been doing that. I'm really worried about her."