Local News

Raleigh Citizens, Police Officers Meet Top Cop Finalists

Posted July 26, 2007

— Raleigh citizens and police officers got a chance Thursday to hear from the two final candidates for chief of police.

City Manager Russell Allen had narrowed the field of potential candidates for the city's top cop job to Kent Sholar, a 24-year veteran with the department who is the interim police chief, and Henry Patrick Dolan, chief of the Grand Rapids, Mich., Police Department.

Many of the department's 746 officers heard from both candidates at a forum Thursday at City Hall. They asked both men about their desire to lead the department, their experience and their views on communication and training.

"Raleigh is a very safe city and it's because of the work you all do every day, but I am really looking forward to the opportunity to lead this police department as we keep progressing," Sholar said.

"To have been a member of this police department as a recruit and then worked on the road and to have now come back, to be in this forum today is quite an honor," Dolan said. "To be back here in Raleigh will be an exciting opportunity for me."

The new police chief is expected to make anywhere from $93,113 to $149,223. Former Police Chief Jane Perlov, who left Raleigh to take a security position with Bank of America in Charlotte, was being paid $139,832 when she resigned.

The hiring will ultimately be up to Allen, but the officers and others got evaluation forms on which to offer feedback about the two candidates.

Nearly 100 residents packed the city council chambers Thursday night so they could also hear what the two men had to say.

“I don’t think Raleigh could lose with either candidate,” said Dennis Poteat, former Raleigh police captain.

Dolan said he thinks the greatest challenges would be breaking the race barriers, developing more effective community relations and making sure each community leader feels strongly that he or she can trust the police.

Sholar said gangs are a big issue.

“We cannot arrest our way out of an issue,” Sholar said. “It’s going to take partnership with the community.”

In the end, the crowd had their favorites.

“If you call Kent Sholar, he will call you back with the answer,” said Raleigh resident Mary Lou Smith. “He’s just been responsive to me and my neighbors who have had problems.”

Poteat said Dolan came off as the “more experienced candidate.”

“I think he shows a lot of leadership traits that Raleigh has been looking for,” Poteat said.


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  • jacklibby Jul 27, 2007

    It has to be Dolan for Chief.

  • big brother Jul 27, 2007

    I have heard comments from certain individuals about how the RPD is past community policing and how Dolan's ideas are old and already accomplished on the police department. I've also read how Sholar is liked by citizens and officers.
    Sholar my be liked by citizens, but I've heard he is not well liked by the officers. If you look into Sholar's term as chief, the police department has lost a number of experienced officers due to retirement or taking other jobs. That doesn't seem like he has the support of his troops. Did anyone read the article in the N&O about how Sholar rides with the watch commanders so the police officers don't feel like he's checking up on them? If you are in touch with your officers, wouldn't they know what your intentions are? Do Donnie Harrison's guys feel like he's checking up on them when he shows up to a call or a scene by himself?
    Dolan, continues to climb (up not down) the career ladder while coming home to FAMILY. Let's complete Dolans circle!

  • ammpgm Jul 27, 2007

    I have been around the police department for several years and several chiefs. The deparment needs new direction and a new start. The officers moral is at an all time worst and with no disrespect to Kent Sholar, he will not be able to make the changes for his troops. He lacks enthusiasm and leadership. The officers need a leader that will lead not order. I have done research on both canidates and Dolan has gain respect from both his officers as well as the public everywhere he has lead. He has the experience and the attitude to demand his troops to follow. Please for the cities sake support Dolan. Its time to change.

  • Jokers Wild II Jul 27, 2007

    lizard - I cant argue with that. You are correct that "Community Policing" is no longer the trend to follow because it did not work in the communities that it NEEDED to work in, much like the Old Dare program was outdated and no longer useful to todays society. I guess it will get to the point where we go to war everyday, Scary but its a REAL possibility that it will happen if alot of stuff does not change in the world.

  • lizard Jul 27, 2007

    Jokers - I know we wear "multiple hats". But we are the only ones in society that can take custody of persons and deprive them of their freedom to go about their business. Too much stress on the multiple hats thing. We're doing the compstat thing. Looking for trends and taking effective police action. That community policing thing is going away. Read about what Batten did in New York. That's where we're going. The military calls it "low intensity conflict" and like it or not that's how some communities are. Raleigh will get there if the gangs are not controlled, I agree. But the midnight basketball era is gone. It doesn't work in a society with weak family structures.

  • Jokers Wild II Jul 27, 2007

    lizard - Correction, you Quoted what YOU wanted to hear, not what he said. Sholar said gangs are a big issue.“We cannot arrest our way out of an issue,” Sholar said. “It’s going to take partnership with the community.”

    Exactly what he said was the same thing you said...?? let the Community get MORE INVOLVED, Its going to Take that partnership between several community groups to make any kind of impact. As Far as Do what we are "Authorized" to do.. What exactly are we only authorized to do? People fail to realize that we dont just eat doughnuts and carry a bad guy to jail when we work.. We all wear multiple hats and do carry out Multiple jobs that most people do not want, or can not handle...

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Jul 27, 2007

    littleredwolfie - If you look at a lot of the larger metro departments, no chief stays too long. They go in, make necessary changes, train other deparment heads to his/her standards, and move on. If they stay too long their effectiveness decreases. It's not that they do a bad job, it's because everyone gets in a comfort zone. Dolan is a great officer and knows how to deal with the diverse population of Raleigh, deal with the politics, and still go home with a smile on his face at the end of the day, knowing he has done the best job possible. He is a true leader and if he gets the job in Raleigh he will be vested in Raleigh 100%.

  • lizard Jul 27, 2007

    Littlered - read the story. They quoted one of the candidates and I repeated it and made my point.

    (One may have to think fast to keep up with me)

  • littleredwolfie Jul 27, 2007

    lizard - I thought this forum was about choosing a new Chief of Police for RPD...what are you talking about???

  • lizard Jul 27, 2007

    Police that say "you can't arrest" your way out of a problem are out of touch. They'll stress social work (that is already being done by others)and the bad guys will continue and expand their operations. Police need to focus on what only they alone are authorized to do by society. Let the community groups do what they do.