Local News

Sources: Lopez Poised to Become Durham's Top Cop

Posted July 13, 2007

— The Bull City could get a new police chief within the week.

Sources tell WRAL that Jose Lopez Sr. and his wife are arriving in the Triangle on Friday.

Sources also tell WRAL the city is in final negotiations with Lopez, who is currently the assistant chief in Hartford, Conn.

Lopez is one of three finalists up for the job. The other two are Ronald Hodge, deputy chief in Durham and Don Green, deputy chief of the Knoxville, Tenn., police.

Chief Steve Chalmers, who plans to retire at the end of the year, has been head of the department for nearly five years.


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  • hotsauce Jul 14, 2007

    I researched a little more and found out that Hartford, CT with a population 125,086 has 471 uniformed officers (3.7 per 1000) and Durham, NC with a population 205,080 has 500 uniformed officers (2.4 per 1000). There should be just a little concern from Mr Baker, Mr. Bell and the 6 city council members why Hartford consistently depends on the Conneticut State Police every summer to assist them with crime. The citizens in Hartford appear to have more confidence in the State Police than their local police. Hartford's crime rate is 30% higher than Durham according to the N&O. I thought Durham's crime rate was going down. I really hope that this is not another Durham City Manager fiasco.

  • Nancy Jul 14, 2007

    "What message does this send to the rank and file employees?"

    That they don't have good leadership. That the "old way" isn't good enough.

    I think it means someone is serious about changing the direction of a system not functioning well.

  • richard2 Jul 14, 2007

    Promote from within, if you don't have anyone that can be promoted someone is not doing their job. Nearly everytime a good paying job comes along its given to someone from outside of the state or town. What message does this send to the rank and file employees?

  • big dady Jul 13, 2007

    bueno for senor lopez< go lopez go lopez

  • Nancy Jul 13, 2007

    hotsauce - I don't know the size of the HPD, but I believe DPD is 500 uniformed officers. So as far as HPD getting assistance from state police and it helps, I think it would depend on the manpower available as to whether it's a necessity up in Hartford.

    I do know that with a 500 uniformed force in Durham, there should be plenty to effectively patrol if they're distributed well, based on population size.

  • wizard633 Jul 13, 2007

    If he get's it, he will sure earn his paycheck!

  • hotsauce Jul 13, 2007

    Thanks Nancy for the information. I have been to the Hartford PD website and read about Chief Lopez. He has an extensive background just as the other candidates. I was just concerned about a couple of things...one being his level of responsibility and decision making in Hartford's PD and the "game plan" for all of the violence. I also read somewhere that the Hartford PD calls on the CT State Police for assistance almost every summer. The citizens say that when the CT State Police assists the Hartford PD crime goes down. I read this on one the BLOGS on www.courant.com. I guess I am reading more into this than I should.

  • Nancy Jul 13, 2007

    hotsauce, one other thing to keep in mind, he was not chief of police in Hartford so he may not have been able to implement ideas freely there. Make sure when you visit the site for the Hartford PD you go to his page and read his background. He has quite a long and impressive field of study as well as service.

  • Nancy Jul 13, 2007

    hotsauce, check out all the statistics for Hartford CT crime data here:


    And you can also compare Durham and Hartford Crime statistics here:


  • hotsauce Jul 13, 2007

    As a citizen of Durham I wanted to research our new chief of police. I went to www.courant.com which is a CT newspaper. I was under the impression that our city officials wanted a "proven" police chief but am I missing something? Hartford, CT has had had 9 murders since Chief Lopez attended the open forum in Durham and a total of 15 for the year, two of those happening today. The N&O stated that Hartford's crime rate is higher than Durham's. I searched and searched for Hartford's solution to these horrific crimes and found no PLAN for the violence. I feel that Chief Lopez will be great in the community but what has he done in Hartford about violence. I keep hearing that he confronts crime but how? Can anyone help me find out more information on our new chief.