Local News

Knightdale police chief steps down following arrest

Posted July 28, 2008

— The town of Knightdale has accepted police Chief Richard Nelson Pope's request for early retirement, Mayor Russell Killen said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

The decision, effective immediately, comes following the early-Monday arrest of Pope, 49, of 567 Mailman Road, who was charged with one count of assault on a female following a domestic dispute with his estranged wife.

Kimberly Smith Pope, 38, of 923 Costmary Road, his ex-wife, was also charged with one count of simple assault.

Reading from a prepared statement, Killen said the police chief "greatly regrets the incident and the embarrassment that it has caused both his family and the town."

In a 911 call released Monday afternoon, Pope tells the operator his ex-wife "just came in and wrecked my house."

She is yelling in the background, and at one point, screams: "Don't grab me. Leave me alone. Quit grabbing my arm, Ricky Pope."

"I need somebody here quick," Kimberly Pope says in another 911 call, adding that she has locked herself in her car out in her ex-husband's driveway.

"I've got marks on my arms and stuff, where he hit me," she says.

Kimberly Pope also tells the 911 dispatcher she walked in on her ex-husband with another woman.

She told WRAL News the woman was another town employee, and Killen said the city attorney is looking into whether any policies have been violated.

Pope, whose annual salary was $85,470, was hired to the Knightdale police force on Oct. 11, 1979, and was promoted to police chief on March 6, 2006. His retirement is effective immediately, but it is unclear whether he will be entitled to full retirement benefits.

He had plans to retire later this year, but Killen said the decision to accelerate it was a mutual agreement.

"It was a solution to the situation we found ourselves in," he said.

Killen said an interim police chief would be named within a few days and the search would begin soon thereafter for a new police chief.

"Chief Pope served the citizens of Knightdale well for over 25 years," Killen said. "We are all disappointed that his tenure with the Knightdale Public Safety Department has ended in this fashion, but we are all glad that the town and Chief Pope can move forward from this point."


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  • Sambopete Jul 30, 2008

    Shortcake53, you're 100% right! I hope this all dies down quickly so the kids can move on and have some peace.

    SOME of my thoughts about her actions are as follow:

    - In her 911 call, she stated CALMLY, "I'm afraid of you get away from my car." or something like that. Well, how do we know he even followed her outside? AND, if she was really afraid of him, she was surely being calm about it. I think that she said that, and what she said in the background of the beginning of his call were made just because she knew they would go on the recording of the call. That was for the benefit of the 911 operator and her future case.

    - If she was really afraid of him, why didn't she drive away? He let her make it to her car, WITH her cell phone, AND her normal speaking voice. If he really wanted to hurt her, I'm sure a police chief would have a gun that would surely shoot through her windows....... DUH!

    Ok, I'll let it go here. God bless all of the families affected by this!

  • shortcake53 Jul 30, 2008

    God bless the children of these two......... its heartbreaking that they will inherit the fallout because their parents cant seem to get it together.

  • harleygirl1969 Jul 29, 2008


  • hugyournurse Jul 29, 2008

    I know them both and this is exactley what happened with Kim and her first husband.

  • Sweet Butterfly Kisses Jul 29, 2008

    SO, NOW..She (kim) Is A TaTTLe-TALE...Wanting to Drag Someone Else thru The Mud..Shameful!

  • BUMPIT Jul 29, 2008


  • Centurian Jul 29, 2008

    I wonder why in the heck the Town MAYOR announced the resignation or even discussed it with the Chief.

    I thought Knightdale had a Town MANAGER? Is he AWOL or something?

  • InJohnstonCo Jul 29, 2008

    f you listen to the 911 calls, he called twice to report a person trespassing on his property and trashing his house. Sounds to me like he was removing a trespasser not committing domestic abuse. She should be charged with child abuse for dragging a 12 year old out in the middle of the night to start a fight that did not involve him.

  • BUMPIT Jul 29, 2008

    what goes around comes around least pope got to retire flashback officer bizzelle was working for kpd and his ex-wife called out the same thing at the schoolhouse claiming that bizzelle rammed his jeep at the back of her tahoe highway patrol was called to do a accident reprt no damaged to any vehicles.they fired officer bizzelle bizzelle went to a 12 person jury founded not GUITLY.did they give his job back no.ex -wife tried to get hired on with kpd.makes you wonder if
    ex wanted bizzelle job.pope batted for her to try and get a job.boy does the ex not rembered what she did.her and kim should be roommates

  • bluscorpio16 Jul 29, 2008

    I absolutely know both parties involved and noone ever said ricky was perfect but if you were around the two of them together for even five minutes you know that Kim is vindictive and is only with Ricky for his money and the retirement she deserves whatever she gets plus more