Local News

Teamsters blast RPD leadership in accreditation hearing

Posted December 5, 2011 8:56 p.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2011 9:42 p.m. EST

— A professional group that represents Raleigh police officers blasted Chief Harry Dolan and other department leaders for "misbehavior and mismanagement" in an accreditation hearing Monday afternoon. 

A team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies began their three-day visit to Raleigh Monday as part of a review process into the department's accreditation.

Chip Roth, a business agent for the Teamsters Local 391, which represents the Raleigh Police Protective Association, asked CALEA not to renew the department's accreditation, which it had held since 1992, in part because of the handling of a sexual misconduct probe that led to the July firing of Sgt. Rick Armstrong.

Roth called Armstrong's termination a "flagrant violation of basic employee rights" that has resulted in a loss of confidence in Dolan among officers and the public.

"Dolan is sending a clear message to his troops that he will attempt to lead through fear and intimidation," Roth said. "The resulting declines in morale among the troops are undermining the ability of the RPD to meet CALEA's important standards."

Armstrong has repeatedly said that the results of an Internal Affairs probe – which alleged that he had sex while on duty with a woman in a neighborhood that he patrolled – are false. He is appealing to the city's Civil Services Commission to get his job back and suing the city for wrongful termination.

Roth charged that Dolan wanted to get rid of Armstrong after he was elected president of the RPPA and that two other leaders of the police union were placed on administrative leave for alleged involvement in Armstrong's case.

Cary police Deputy Chief Barry Nickalson argued during the hearing that, in working closely with Raleigh police on several cases, the department definitely meets CALEA standards and should be re-accredited.

The CALEA team is conducting interviews and visits at various police district offices, in addition to Monday's hearing seeking public input, before they'll take their findings back to the commission. The commission will decide whether the department should keep its accreditation.

It wasn't clear when the department will receive a decision.