Big changes coming for Raleigh police

Raleigh Police cars

January 4, 2010 8:42:26 PM PST
The chief of the capital city's police force said Monday he is reshaping police districts and putting more resources into community policing.In the past 25 years, many things in Raleigh have changed - now the police department is about to do the same.

"In the next five to seven years what you'll recognize about the Raleigh Police Department are your police cars and your uniforms," Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said. "Just about everything else is going to change."

Thousands of people once in the northwest district may now find themselves in the north district. But geographic shuffling of districts and focusing on aggressive enforcement alone, will not keep the streets of Raleigh safe according to the chief.

Click here to view the current district map

Click here to view the revised district map

"Equally as important is providing opportunities for young children, so that they do not find themselves in a situation where they're involved in violent crime," Dolan said.

He says that's where retired Raleigh detective George Passley comes in. He and other former officers are part of a new program for mentoring youngsters.

Passley says making sure kids have something to do other than join gangs is a simple approach to crime prevention.

"It's just a matter of sitting down, taking a few minutes - a little extra time, not pre-judging and just giving sound advice," Passley said.

Passley says he is pleased that the police chief is creating a youth and family service section that will now include the juvenile unit.

There will also be other changes.

Tuesday, the downtown police district will move into the former entertainment complex on Cabarrus Street.

And the main police department will move out of downtown in March to a building on Six Forks Road.

It will be temporary until the old building is torn down a new one built.

City leaders still have to decide on the timetable and the construction will take a little over two years.

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