RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh Police Chief Jane Perlov is taking a medical leave for
breast cancer treatment
, as WRAL first reported Tuesday.
Thursday, Perlov is scheduled to have her second surgery at Rex Hospital. Wednesday, members of the department talked about their chief.
Perlov is known for her aggressive war on crime. Colleagues said her performance as chief tells a lot about how she will handle the battle with cancer.
"She's very concerned," police attorney Dawn Bryant said. "She's getting used to the idea of the diagnosis."
Bryant is a breast cancer survivor.
"She doesn't have to explain to me how she feels," Bryant said of Perlov. "I know how she feels. I'm a survivor, and I do believe she is, too."
Perlov revealed her health crisis to officers in an e-mail Tuesday and thanked them for their support.
"I know people's prayers are with her, and she appreciates that," Bryant said.
Deputy Chief Clarence Lewis will fill in for Perlov in her absence.
Perlov created the district system -- in essence, six separate substations in six regions of the city each run by its own command staff.
"I have the utmost confidence in the system that Chief Perlov has set up," City Councilman Philip Isley said. "I think it will run fine in her absence."
Isley said the same qualities that make Perlov a strong chief will make her a strong patient.
"I know she's going to attack this issue she has with the same vigor that she has attacked crime in the city and making our citizens safe," Isley said.
For a change, it is her safety that's now on everyone's minds.
Perlov said she hopes her ordeal will create more awareness in the community about breast cancer and will prompt women to get regular checkups.
"She has a great attitude, and we're very optimistic she'll beat this," Bryant said.