Local News

Amid grievances, Raleigh police chief defends policy

Posted July 5, 2012

— Raleigh's police chief remained defensive Thursday about his department's new employee evaluation program, as more than 100 officers filed grievances with the city over what they're calling a "quasi-quota" system that "elevates quantity at the expense of quality."

Teamsters Local 391, which represents the Raleigh Police Protective Association, an interest group of nearly 600 officers, says the Priority Performance Measure system judges officers on their actions, such as the number of traffic stops or security checks they carry out or the number of arrests for crimes like driving while impaired.

"Chief (Harry) Dolan is taking us down a path toward a quasi-quota system that will have police officers chasing numbers instead of criminals," Raleigh police officer Trey Walters told reporters at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Speaking on behalf for the RPPA and Teamsters, Walters, an officer for more than three years, said the system ignores "real-world measures of the quality of police work performed."

"Raleigh police officers do not want to be measured just on quantity," he said. "If we have to make a certain number of anything to get a good grade or to get a reward or to keep from getting fired, then I think most people would define that as a quota-based system."

Raleigh police Amid grievances, Raleigh police chief defends policy

The grievance, which says the new system is "fraught with inaccuracies, inconsistencies and errors," points to several concerns. One, for example, is that officers might end up targeting citizens and writing more tickets to get a better review.

"Chief (Harry) Dolan is taking us down a path toward a quasi-quota system that will have police officers chasing numbers instead of criminals," Walters said.

Dolan says that's not his aim with the new performance review system, which was implemented July 1.

"That's rhetoric, and I take exception to that. That is not a part of this police department, and they should refrain from saying that," he said Thursday. "The men and women of this department do not do that."

Web only: Raleigh police chief on performance review system Web only: Raleigh police chief on performance review system

The goal of the system, he says, is to accurately measure officers' work, especially as it relates to community policing and officers interacting with the public.

"The strongest part of this system is that it is quota-free," he said. "I think quotas are dysfunctional. I'm opposed to quotas. I want you to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. I want you to be engaged."

Southeast Raleigh, for example, had a significant problem with guns, gangs and drugs in 2007 and 2008, Dolan says. He asked officers to build trust in the community and work together with residents to reduce violent crime.

"I want us to sustain the great work that we've done in our community. I turned to the men and women of the department and said, 'We need you to do more.’ The community said they're going to do more, and they have."

Dolan says he's aware of problems and concerns that officers have had with the new evaluations. He's met with captains and officers, as well as the Teamsters, in the spring.

Teamsters representative Chip Roth says Dolan has not listened.

"We have tried repeatedly over the last year and a half to express our concerns about this quota-based system," Roth said. "He has simply dismissed those concerns."

He says he expects at least another 100 officers to file similar grievances within the next week.

"I understand completely that they're concerned," Dolan said. "I have to do a better job making sure that I'm out there more. I'm going to do that this month and next month, making sure they have an opportunity to talk to me."

69 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • Marty King Jul 9, 12:13 p.m.

    I hope this policy will encourage RPD officers to take called in complaints more seriously.

    As of late, RPD officers have gotten really lazy in SE Raleigh with loiterers, illegal fireworks, speeders and noise complaints. If they actually did some work, this would never have happened but they like to say issues are non-issues to save them some paperwork.

  • mmtlash Jul 6, 6:30 p.m.

    guess we all better be extra careful about town towards the end of every month now that the police will be scrambling to meet their monthly ticket qoutas...

  • JaniceJoplin Jul 6, 5:59 p.m.

    boneymaroney- I am very well aware of the cost to the department to train officers for the street ;) I wish nothing more than for Dolan to leave on his 55th birthday this year. His so called leadership has created a miserable work environment that benefits no one but Dolan. This veiled quota system will give him the numbers he desires for "prestige" and recognition.

    I will go out on a limb that of the officers I know, not one supports Dolan nor defends his policies.

    This is a "right to work" state. There is no collective bargaining. If the officers were to unite and walk out, they would be terminated.

  • boneymaroney13 Jul 6, 5:20 p.m.

    JaniceJoplin - he manages by fear. Joining arms with a group of t--gs is not the answer. Become your own group and "walk out". It's extremely expensive to train and put an officer on the street. It would be more cost effective to get rid of Dolan than train a whole police department. That is if ALL the officers have the same opinion as the "UNION".

  • boneymaroney13 Jul 6, 5:14 p.m.

    obamacare Tax - thank you for you intelligent opinion.

  • JaniceJoplin Jul 6, 4:52 p.m.

    Very well said bosshog! I couldn't agree more!!

    "Kudos to Officer Walters and the RPPA for standing up for what they believe in. Those of you who criticize the Union have no idea what it takes for them to stick their neck out and speak out against Harry's bullying after his recent retaliation against the former RPPA leader. The reason they didn't sit down and talk with him as he suggested in his interview is because he has instilled fear in each and every one of them, even the Captain's. The only person embarrassing the Raleigh Police Dept is Harry Dolan...get rid of him and put a real leader in his place and after RPD is restored to the pre-Harry state, it's reputation and officer morale will return. Harry is to blame here...he ruined it all with his dictator type of leadership of "HIS officers and HIS public"...dead giveaway right there of the power trip he is on. Time for a new Chief." (--bosshog)

  • working for deadbeats Jul 6, 4:19 p.m.

    Then it's safe to say you won't complain when you get a ticket tomorrow, april?

  • kermit60 Jul 6, 3:53 p.m.

    Dolan says that's not his aim with the new performance review system: I does not matter if it was his aim or not if creates the problem. I've tried to look at this from all angles but it keeps coming back as a quota system.

  • working for deadbeats Jul 6, 3:51 p.m.

    Very insightful, Boney.

  • aprilhunter220 Jul 6, 3:47 p.m.

    Cops do not like this because they won't be able to ride around all day and do nothing and get paid for it. Enough said.

More...