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Raleigh Police Chief Breaks With Tradition In High-Profile Hire

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Some members of the Raleigh Police Department believe politics played a role in the department's latest promotion.

Historically, Raleigh police officers have been promoted from within. However, Chief Jane Perlov, who joined the department six months ago, hired a former colleague, James McNamara, to become the department's next major.

"Short term, anytime there's change, people are going to disagree. That's human nature," said Officer Jim Nidiffer, Raleigh police union president.

Nidiffer has heard from his share of people who disagree with the new hire at the department.

Some say internal candidates with decades of experience for the job were passed over for a promotion.

"The feeling is that she should promote from within. There are guys who have been here a long time and have paid their dues to be promoted from within," Nidiffer said.

"I don't think people were passed over, because I don't believe that anyone is entitled to any position," Perlov said.

Perlov said she hired McNamara, a 21-year veteran of the NYPD, because he has unique experience in crime data analysis.

"We have a lot of talented officers here, a lot of talented supervisors here, but it's not anything that has ever been done in the Raleigh Police Department before," Perlov said. "It was an expertise which I sought out, which Jimmy McNamara had and will bring to the department."

Perlov said that she is not afraid to make changes, even if it means rocking the boat a little.

"In any progressive police department, outside talent is always sought after and always brought in. This is a usual course of business," she said.

"We'll just really have to see what he brings to the table," Nidiffer said. [Perlov] is obviously comfortable with his qualifications if she brought him all the way from New York. Only time will tell what he brings to the department."

There are only four majors among the 650 sworn officers who work in the Raleigh Police Deparment.There is one more major's position open at the department that Perlov said she will fill internally.

McNamara starts work on May 13.


Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Ken Corn, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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