Local News

Lateral-entry program filling Raleigh police ranks

Posted January 1, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Less than a year after seeing its ranks of officers dip to about 90, the Raleigh Police Department should be fully staffed by this summer, Police Chief Harry Dolan said.

The department has more than 70 vacancies, but about 50 recruits will start the police academy next month, Dolan said. He credited a new city program, called lateral entry, that pays new officers according to their past experience for helping fill the ranks.

Program helps replenish Raleigh police Program helps replenish Raleigh police

"From (the New York Police Department) to different departments around North Carolina, we are getting officers that have experience," he said. "Much like if someone is an attorney or a professional from another community (and) if they go from one community to another, they are recognized for their professional experience."

About a third of the officers who recently graduated from Raleigh's police academy went through the lateral-entry program, he said.

Once all of the positions are filled, Dolan said, he plans to ask the City Council to fund more officers.

"Of course, we are going to start asking for more positions. That is going to be contingent upon the budget," he said.

Like other department head, he said, he worries about budget cuts, but he said he believes Raleigh is very committed to law enforcement and won't cut officers.


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  • rpd911 Jan 2, 2009

    What about the folks who are quiting and retiring?? 90 short - 50 + 20 (40% drop out) + 20 (retirements - estimate) + attrition = about 90 or more vacancies by the time the academy graduates and you exactly where you started or worse.

  • RonnieR Jan 2, 2009

    Well, that is the ole way, even NCSHP now offers an abreviated course for those with BLET, maybe Raleigh could do that. I'm long retired, but moved between 3 PDs and ended at a State agency and always just started out with a training person for a few days/weeks to get me in to the way things were done with that outfit. At some point, the Standards folks started requiring, annual weapon quals and in-service training, so, of course, I did that.

  • eternalrage83 Jan 2, 2009

    I've seen the salary offered on the city of Raleigh website for a police officer and it was in the low to mid 30's for the position I saw if my memory serves me correctly. IMO if you want to keep a decent size force of men and women that get shot at for a living you need to pay them like they are getting shot at for a living. I commend those that wear the badge in the city of Raleigh for that salary because I don't know anyone that would be selfless enough to do it for that much.

  • Pac-Man Jan 2, 2009

    Well, you make a good point, but different departmental policies are a big factor. Also BLET is 16 weeks long and RPD's academy is 27+ weeks. There a lot more training then just BLET. BLET is the GED for cops. There is some certain training that RPD wants all its officers to have.

  • RonnieR Jan 2, 2009

    If they're lateraly transferring then they already have BLET, why not just put them on the street with a training officer for a short time to show them the Raleigh way?

  • SomeRandomGuy Jan 2, 2009

    Someone needs to proofread, because the first sentence does say the department only had 90 officers over the summer.

  • Justin T. Jan 2, 2009

    I think we lost a lot of officers in Raleigh over the "double dipping" investigation. Only a handful of officers were actually in error but from what I understand there was some fallout and many others left.

    I think the administration cracked down and made it very difficult for officers to work after hours. Many of them depend on supplemental income due to very low pay.

    The last I heard (over the summer), Raleigh had 68 vacancies for entry level positions.

  • Pac-Man Jan 2, 2009

    Intersesting to see what happens when other cities start offering later transfers. What will the city of Raleigh do to keep its officers then. That's the real problem.

  • RPD07 Jan 1, 2009

    So they will start with 50 in the next academy, but when each academy fails 40% of the recruits, it still takes a while to fill those vacancies. DO NOT HIRE TO FILL SLOTS. I would rather have 10 new officers that WANT to work and are good at it than 30 that do it for just a pay check.

  • forddp Jan 1, 2009

    The way this story reads at one time a city of in excess of 350K had only 90 police officers. Is this correct?