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Raleigh's New Police Chief: 'I Will Listen'

Posted August 3, 2007
Updated August 23, 2007

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— Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen announced Friday that Harry Patrick Dolan will be the city's new police chief.

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, Mich., 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.

“It is a distinct honor to be selected as the capital city’s next chief of police,” Dolan said. “I appreciate Mr. Allen’s confidence in me and look forward to once again working with the members of the Raleigh Police Department."

Dolan said his biggest challenge will be looking at ways to manage, given the city's growth.

"Certainly, there are changes in the community, but there are some fundamental things that are very basic to Raleigh that are still there," he said. "I think you build on the tradition and pride that the organization has and move into the future and find out how you can customize service to meet the needs of the community."

As chief, Dolan said, he plans to meet with community and city leaders to talk about a strategic plan for the city's future. He also plans to rely on Deputy Chief Ken Sholar, the man he beat out for the top job, for help.

“I'm going to ask the acting chief, who will be the deputy chief, to run the day-to-day while I try to get to know everybody, while I get the lay of the land,” Dolan said.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh Police Protective Association endorsed Dolan. He will start work on Sept. 4 at an annual salary of $132,000.

Rick Armstrong, with the Raleigh Police Protective Association, said he thinks Dolan will work well with the rank and file officers. Though Dolan has the support of local police unions, there are some immediate issues to deal with when he begins the job in September.

“As time has progressed, they’re not keeping up with cost of living. That is a concern,” Armstrong said.

“I believe that they know I will listen,” Dolan said.

Dolan was one of two finalists for the job. Sholar, who has spent his entire 24-year law-enforcement career with the city's police department, was the other.

Allen selected Dolan and Sholar from a pool of 45 applicants to replace former Chief Jane Perlov, who left in March to become the head of security for Bank of America in Charlotte.

87 Comments

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  • zoocrew Aug 5, 2007

    excellent choice raleigh. aint that right longhorns

  • ifonly Aug 5, 2007

    Many can listen, but are you going to hear what is being said?

  • Proud Airman Aug 5, 2007

    Cudos again to Sheriff Harrison. I'd love to see similar success with the Raleigh Police Department. We need more officers on the street, and more strict policies to insure that the officers that are on the streets are being proactive and productive. It is unacceptable for police officers to sit around doing nothing, sleeping, etc. I have seen first hand all of those. Again, Law Enforcement must be PROactive to be successful, instead of REactive. Good luck chief!

  • Tax Man Aug 5, 2007

    I sure hope he listens well - how about some very strict gang elimination policies - let's get rid of the gangs here in Wake County - work with Sheriff Harrison to arrest and convict ALL gang members and send them all off for a very long time - then keep the kids from starting new gangs - look forward to meeting the new chief! He has my support.

  • FloydRTurbo Aug 5, 2007

    I don't know a darned thing about being in a law enforcement bureaucracy but I am familiar w/ numerous corporate bureaucrcies. Any grouping of several 100 employees is going to have some less than ideal employees. If those tend to be the face of the organization that's bad.

    A good manager is always trying to weed out from the bottom up. A change at the top ALWAYS results in some attrition within the ranks .... some good, some not so good. Managing others is a very difficult job .... most people are "just OK" at it at best.

    I happen to support Sheriff Harrison before/during/after his embarrassing scandal in his personal life. Very unfortunate. He should have exercised better judgement. His predecessor in that office had a closet full of corrupt skeletons. Weighing those two options, I prefer Sheriff Harrison. Which has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the new Chief of Police.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Aug 4, 2007

    gottabenc - I think everyone burns bridges in their lifetime, noone is perfect. I certainly am not. Why do you such have a problem with my opinion? That's what it is an opinion, not the gospel.

  • gottabenc Aug 4, 2007

    My my K9tucker aren't we defensive! Seems you have to defend each blog that comes across just a little negative regarding Harry. You are NOT the only one who knows Harry. He's burnt a few bridges YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Aug 4, 2007

    EGH3 - The ones that have been charged recently came mostly from the sherrif's dept as for the one in jail from the city, his crimes were committed long after Dolan was gone

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Aug 4, 2007

    gottabenc - I am happy for Dolan, I don't have a thing to win from this. I just know he is a good person and Raleigh will benefit greatly. I don't even live in Raleigh. What's your problem?

  • gottabenc Aug 4, 2007

    K9Tucker
    Of course your happy for Harry. You have some motive for being Harry's personal PR Cheerleader. GO HARRY ...GO HARRY!!!
    What's in it for you?

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