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PBA: Raleigh Police Were Overworked Under Ex-Chief

Posted June 6, 2007

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— A group representing the interests of Raleigh police officers wants city leaders to choose the next police chief based not only on the interests of the community but also on the rank-and-file.

Former Chief Jane Perlov, who resigned in March to head security for Bank of America, is credited with decentralizing the police department into six districts to address public-safety needs and crime prevention.

No one disagrees that she had a big impact on the Raleigh Police Department. But a recent letter from the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association's Raleigh-Wake Chapter to the editor of The News & Observer newspaper casts Perlov's legacy in a negative light.

"Chief Perlov was attentive to the citizens while her lack of attention to her officers compromised their safety," chapter President Randy Miller wrote.

John Midgette, executive director of the Police Benevolent Association, said the district-policing system caused the department to be dangerously understaffed and has resulted in low morale. Another couple of hundred officers are needed for the system, he said.

"You had officers who were overworked," Midgette said. "Safety was compromised, and nothing was ever done to address the manpower shortage that not only plagued the system from the beginning, but continues to."

The Raleigh Police Department had no reaction Wednesday, and WRAL was unable to reach Perlov, for comment.

But Rick Armstrong, president of the Raleigh Police Protective Association, which represents more than 300 officers, said Perlov always had an open line of communication with her officers.

He also said that understaffing at the police department has been a problem for the past 20 years and that Perlov, overall, did a great job during her five-year tenure.

City Councilman Philip Isley said Perlove was just what the city needed and called Perlov's accomplishments as police chief "nothing short of remarkable."

Before Perlov became police chief in September 2001, the city had seen more than 18,000 major crimes such as rape, assault and murder in 1999 and more than 19,000 in 2000. By 2006, at the end of Perlov's tenure, that number had dropped about 30 percent to 14,877.

"Police chiefs, just like city managers, I'm sure, don't satisfy everyone," City Manager Russell Allen said.

Isley did agree that the next police chief needs to address any lingering morale issues.

"That is a concern of mine," Isley said. "I have heard at various times an undercurrent of morale issues."

Allen, who is conducting a nationwide search for Perlov's replacement, said Wednesday he has narrowed the list of possible replacements to about six to eight candidates and that he plans to bring three to five to a public forum for public input.

There is no time frame yet for that process, however.


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  • Joshua Jun 8, 2007

    I've never met a Raleigh Police officer that was anything other than an outstanding individual. From the cruisers, to the mounted police, to the bike police downtown. These men and women do an truly incredible job with the limited staff and resources available to them. They are over-worked, and they're definitely under-paid. I do hope the next Chief takes better care of his/her force. A change in guard can most certainly be a good thing to bring about change.

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Jun 7, 2007

    Jeezus, this post has spun out of control, clearly there was some problems with Perlov's command...numerous officers were unhappy..there were overtime settlements..off-duty scandal...she was in charge the whole time and didnt know what was going on in her department?....the staffing was constantly short and officers flocking to outside organizations...the least of which was the PBA. Just as many RPD guys are under the teamsters organization...it's just the PBA has the kahunas to speak up for it's Raleigh PD members and ask for a voice in the selection process. It's no secret in the LEO community Perlov was not held in high regards. There's no need to counter those who don't like the police....just as the police shouldn't need to apologize for not liking them....let's hope the RPD gets a LEADER..not a MANAGER there is a differance

  • TechRescue Jun 7, 2007


    That's the difference. Most cops, firefighters, and rescue people care about everyone's family. We agonize over the ones we lose, always wondering if we had gotten there faster or done something else, the outcome would have been better.

    Anyone who would make that statement would never consider a career in public service, and it's just as well - the public deserves better.

  • TechRescue Jun 7, 2007

    Common decency (and the ever-looming presence of the moderators) tempers the reply that "beautiful" deserves. Just suffice to say that children that young should not be allowed to develop over-inflated opinions of cosmetic excellence.

  • JerryO Jun 7, 2007

    The issue of Yankee vs Southern has another side which is escaping everyone. If the chief is local, he or she is more likely to stick around longer. Comming from somewhere else, they have no loyalty to this area and it's nothing more than a sprinboard to a high paying civilian job ( Jane Perlov ) or a shot at a big city job. Why not promote someone from the rank and file?

  • superman Jun 7, 2007

    I just wish the police chief could have stayed a couple more years and they be no crime in the city at all. Guess all the crooks and criminals moved to Durham. Maybe the morale was so low the police just quit looking. Whatever she did- she should go to Washington-- and make her policy known throughout the world. The chief was truly remarkable. Can you imagin no crime in the United States.

  • PJM Jun 7, 2007

    ma'am before you go any further in your opinions or comments.

  • rpdwife05 Jun 7, 2007

    Beautiful, I'm sorry it makes you so mad that I support my husband and his chosen profession. AND yes...I do everything I can to support my family. I'm sure you do have a supportive family as well, and your lucky for that. I was not slamming you, your comments were unwarranted. You asked why I did not sign up...and I explained. My salary is more than a low-rank LEO. That's how I support my family. I was just explaining that for me to be an LEO would be a huge income cut for my family. Thats all. To clarify: I don't take any medicine whatsoever (that comment was just hateful). And yes..my employer knows im on the internet, what about yours?

  • TechRescue Jun 7, 2007

    You folks that are slamming the LE people need to get a life. Sure, there are some that shouldn't be in the job - but that's true in every profession.

    Think you could handle a job where you arrest someone for breaking the law and they're out the next day dealing again? Where you routinely meet people at the lowest point in their lives? Where when people scream "somebody do something", you're the "somebody" they're talking about? Could you stop a carload of drunks by yourself at 3 in the morning? Handle A job where if you do it perfectly you're invisible, but where the slightest misstep gets you crucified?

    More importantly, do you think you could handle dealing with people like YOU all day long? I've been on the wrong side of a bad cop before - but I'm smart enough to realize that it's not a job for most of them. It's a calling, and I respect them for the sacrifices they make in order to do it.

    Thanks, guys and gals - keep us safe

  • PJM Jun 7, 2007