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Raleigh Down to 2 Finalists for Top Police Job

Posted July 20, 2007
Updated August 23, 2007

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— A veteran Raleigh policeman and a Michigan police chief who once wore the Raleigh uniform are the two finalists for police chief, city officials said Friday.

Samuel Kent Sholar, 46, Raleigh's acting chief, and Harry Patrick Dolan, 49, chief of the Grand Rapids, Mich., Police Department, will appear at a public forum next Thursday.

"We really did have very good candidates, and I really do feel extremely good about the two finalists. Either one would be a great chief for Raleigh. My job is really to find out which one will be the best one," City Manager Russell Allen said.

The city received 45 applications in its national search for a replacement for former Chief Jane Perlov. She left in March to take a corporate security job with Bank of America.

"I want to make sure that we maintain what has been put in place by Jane Perlov. What she did was phenomenal. We've certainly seen the benefits of her actions," City Councilman Philip Isley said.

Sholar has worked for the Raleigh Police Department for 24 years, moving up the ranks from patrol officer to detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and major. He was named deputy chief last December and was appointed as interim chief after Perlov left.

A Duplin County native, he has an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Wake Technical Community College and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Carolina Wesleyan College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and North Carolina State University’s Administrative Officers Management Program.

Dolan has spent 18 of his 27 years in law enforcement in North Carolina, including five with the Raleigh Police Department. He has been police chief in Grand Rapids for the past nine years. Before that, he served as police chief in Lumberton and for the North Carolina Department of Human Resources Police Department in Black Mountain. He worked in Raleigh from 1982 to 1987.

A New York native, he has an associate's degree in law enforcement from Palm Beach Community College in Florida, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Western Carolina University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Development Program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Government.

The public forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the City Council chambers, 222 W. Hargett St., and is expected to last until about 8 p.m. 

Although the public won't be allowed to ask questions of the candidates, they will be able to hear the answers the two finalists give to questions presented by the city’s personnel director. People can then fill out a form in which they rank the finalists and offer written comments.

A second forum is scheduled for members of the police department to meet the candidates.

Raleigh is among several area cities that has been searching for new police chiefs.

Durham on Thursday named Jose Lopez Sr. to replace Chief Steve Chalmers, who will retire at the end of the year. Chapel Hill is still searching for a chief after Tom McCarthy was forced to quit the job on his first day after failing a physical exam.

61 Comments

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  • LongHorns Jul 22, 2007

    I ALSO KNOW KEN, I KNOW HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS, BUT HOW IN THE CITY OF RALEIGH DO YOU GO FROM LT TO DEPUTY CHEIF IN 5 YEARS,YOU DONT. HARRY HAS MOVED ALWAYS TO A BETTER JOB NEVER BECAUSE HE WAS FORCED TO. THINK ABOUT IT RALEIGH AS A PATROL OFFICER TO A CHEIF IN BLACK MOUNTAIN, TO THE CHIEF IN LUMBERTON DOUBLE THE SIZE, TO CHIEF IN GRAND RAPIDS TRIPLE THE SIZE, THATS WHY HE MOVED NO OTHER REASON. YOU NEED TO CHECK THE GRAND RAPIDS NEWS PAPERS THE PEOPLE AND THE MAYOR WANT THE CITY TO DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO KEEP HIM .SO IF HARRY DOES NOT GET RALEIGH HE WILL BE JUST FINE IN GRAND RAPIDS. KEN ON THE OTHER HAND WILL BE RUN OUT OF RALEIGH ON A STICK BY HIS OWN PEOPLE, HE CANT HANDLE THE RALEIGH JOB.

  • Mom2two Jul 21, 2007

    I worked with both Harry and Kent. I know Kent and I know Harry, and Kent is no Harry. Harry Dolan is the far superior choice for chief. That is not a dig on Kent, but just a fact. Harry is as smart as they come, but more importantly, he has outstanding people skills.

  • longhornbulls Jul 21, 2007

    And I've known Ken for years and Harry is no better when it comes his superb efforts and accomplishments. Ken has been with Raleigh and doesn't need to be blamed for what state things are in from Perlov. Harry has been traveling from state to state. Why so many moves ?? Why did he leave Raleigh ???

  • allswell Jul 21, 2007

    I have known Chief Dolan for quite awhile, and it is necessary to acknowledge not only his superb efforts and accomplishments in policing in several cities, but also his character. Harry Dolan, while maintaining effective control over crime and progress in the city, exhibits even more healthy influence at home. A true family man, Dolan cares deeply about those close to him and never falters when it comes to helping out a friend or someone in need. An honest man who gives his whole heart into his work and his family is just what Raleigh needs! Good Luck Harry!

  • LongHorns Jul 21, 2007

    RALEIGH IS IN A BAD SPOT GANGS, DRUGS, MURDER, AND RAPE ALL UP IN THIS CITY. THIS IS BECAUSE THE OLD CHEIF AND YOUR CURRENT ACTING CHEIF TURNED A BLIND EYE TO ALL THIS CRIME, AND LOCKED UP THE HOMELESS AND FILLED THE JAIL WITH THEM.NOW THIS GUY WANTS TO BE CHEIF TO DO THE SAME AS PERLOV SHE RAN, SHE KNEW IT WAS COMING.I KNOW HARRY DOLAN PERSONALLY HE IS A GREAT CHEIF AND A GREAT MAN, RALEIGH AS NO CHOICE BUT TO HIRE HIM

  • EGH3 Jul 20, 2007

    FAYLUM,I'M SPEATING ON WHAT I NO ALSO I WAS PART OF THE DP,YOU HADTO BE PART OF THE ONES THAT WAS WITH MR.LEON,I NO THAT DOLAN STAY THERE SO THE CITY OF LUMBERTON WOULD PAY FOR HIM TO GO TO SCHOOL,AND BYE,BYE

  • illegals--GO HOME Jul 20, 2007

    Good luck to you Kent.....I think you have what it takes to "stay" with RPD and do what it takes to keep the city force moving forward. I knew you way back when, and think you have done a good job in your career advancement from the rank and file upwards.

  • Sandwalker Jul 20, 2007

    Harry Dolan served the city of Lumberton for approximately eight years. He arrived after the city was decimated by a riot. Police community relations were non-existent. During his tenure as Chief he developed a strong partnership between the community and police department that still exist to this day. He implemented decentralization programs, which utilized community police stations, a program which you describe as recently being implemented in Raleigh. These programs were started in mid-1990. Chief Dolan has been internationally recognized as an authority in the field of Community Policing. Under his direction Lumberton became a training ground for many other police departments from around the country. When Chief Dolan announced his departure from Lumberton, many residents publicly demanded that the City Council pay what ever to took to keep him from leaving. Dolan left Lumberton because his job there was complete. Any agency that is lucky enough hire him is truly fortunate.

  • faylum Jul 20, 2007

    egh3 - I am not speaking on what I have heard from other officers. I am speaking from what I have seen first hand. Ask this officer how many people left when Dolan did? Quite a few. As with any job, you will find people who don't like their bosses. As they say, you can not please everyone. Harry Dolan is a wonderful person and police chief and I still feel Raleigh would benefit from hiring him.

  • faylum Jul 20, 2007

    EGH8 we must speak from facts i worked for dolan while he was the chief of Lumberton and the retired officer you are talking about is probably one that was against Community Policing. since there was several of them. Dolan brought Community Policing to a higher level. i don't know sholar for all i know he may be a outstanding Law Enforcement Officer but i do know Dolan and for a FACT he is a outstanding Law Enforcement Officer. and me being a Law Enforcement Officer for over 22 years i know a good Cop when i seen one. good luck Harry

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