Local News

Raleigh Down to 2 Finalists for Top Police Job

Posted July 20, 2007 10:39 a.m. EDT
Updated August 23, 2007 7:34 p.m. EDT

— A veteran Raleigh policeman and a Michigan police chief who once wore the Raleigh uniform are the two finalists for police chief, city officials said Friday.

Samuel Kent Sholar, 46, Raleigh's acting chief, and Harry Patrick Dolan, 49, chief of the Grand Rapids, Mich., Police Department, will appear at a public forum next Thursday.

"We really did have very good candidates, and I really do feel extremely good about the two finalists. Either one would be a great chief for Raleigh. My job is really to find out which one will be the best one," City Manager Russell Allen said.

The city received 45 applications in its national search for a replacement for former Chief Jane Perlov. She left in March to take a corporate security job with Bank of America.

"I want to make sure that we maintain what has been put in place by Jane Perlov. What she did was phenomenal. We've certainly seen the benefits of her actions," City Councilman Philip Isley said.

Sholar has worked for the Raleigh Police Department for 24 years, moving up the ranks from patrol officer to detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and major. He was named deputy chief last December and was appointed as interim chief after Perlov left.

A Duplin County native, he has an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Wake Technical Community College and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Carolina Wesleyan College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and North Carolina State University’s Administrative Officers Management Program.

Dolan has spent 18 of his 27 years in law enforcement in North Carolina, including five with the Raleigh Police Department. He has been police chief in Grand Rapids for the past nine years. Before that, he served as police chief in Lumberton and for the North Carolina Department of Human Resources Police Department in Black Mountain. He worked in Raleigh from 1982 to 1987.

A New York native, he has an associate's degree in law enforcement from Palm Beach Community College in Florida, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Western Carolina University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Development Program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Government.

The public forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the City Council chambers, 222 W. Hargett St., and is expected to last until about 8 p.m. 

Although the public won't be allowed to ask questions of the candidates, they will be able to hear the answers the two finalists give to questions presented by the city’s personnel director. People can then fill out a form in which they rank the finalists and offer written comments.

A second forum is scheduled for members of the police department to meet the candidates.

Raleigh is among several area cities that has been searching for new police chiefs.

Durham on Thursday named Jose Lopez Sr. to replace Chief Steve Chalmers, who will retire at the end of the year. Chapel Hill is still searching for a chief after Tom McCarthy was forced to quit the job on his first day after failing a physical exam.