Local News

Raleigh's New Police Chief: 'I Will Listen'

Posted August 3, 2007 9:19 a.m. EDT
Updated August 23, 2007 7:34 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen announced Friday that Harry Patrick Dolan will be the city's new police chief.

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, Mich., 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.

“It is a distinct honor to be selected as the capital city’s next chief of police,” Dolan said. “I appreciate Mr. Allen’s confidence in me and look forward to once again working with the members of the Raleigh Police Department."

Dolan said his biggest challenge will be looking at ways to manage, given the city's growth.

"Certainly, there are changes in the community, but there are some fundamental things that are very basic to Raleigh that are still there," he said. "I think you build on the tradition and pride that the organization has and move into the future and find out how you can customize service to meet the needs of the community."

As chief, Dolan said, he plans to meet with community and city leaders to talk about a strategic plan for the city's future. He also plans to rely on Deputy Chief Ken Sholar, the man he beat out for the top job, for help.

“I'm going to ask the acting chief, who will be the deputy chief, to run the day-to-day while I try to get to know everybody, while I get the lay of the land,” Dolan said.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh Police Protective Association endorsed Dolan. He will start work on Sept. 4 at an annual salary of $132,000.

Rick Armstrong, with the Raleigh Police Protective Association, said he thinks Dolan will work well with the rank and file officers. Though Dolan has the support of local police unions, there are some immediate issues to deal with when he begins the job in September.

“As time has progressed, they’re not keeping up with cost of living. That is a concern,” Armstrong said.

“I believe that they know I will listen,” Dolan said.

Dolan was one of two finalists for the job. Sholar, who has spent his entire 24-year law-enforcement career with the city's police department, was the other.

Allen selected Dolan and Sholar from a pool of 45 applicants to replace former Chief Jane Perlov, who left in March to become the head of security for Bank of America in Charlotte.