In December 2008, less than a month after 16-year-old Adarius Fowler was killed in a drive-by shooting on Tarboro Road, police and city officials began holding monthly meetings with residents to identify problems. Later that month, the police department launched a pilot community policing initiative in the College Park-Idlewild neighborhoods, based in part on 20 recommendations from residents to improve public safety in the neighborhood.
The police department implemented a five-year strategic plan to target dangerous criminals while working with the federal government to secure maximum prison sentences for violent repeat offenders. Part of the plan included the formation of a youth and family services section to reduce family violence and providing support for family members.
The department established youth programs at the three Southeast Raleigh community centers that have expanded to centers across the city with summer camps and basketball leagues. The department was also instrumental in the refurbishing of the old St. Monica’s School, which educated African-American children for more than three decades, to be used as a teen center.
The community policing program plays a leading role in the city’s community-oriented government initiative that brought city divisions together to address citizen concerns about their neighborhoods. The police partnered with other city divisions – solid waste, planning, zoning, public works and inspections – to help remove blight, set up more street lights and improve homes that didn’t meet code, particularly in Southeast Raleigh.
Then chief Harry Dolan co-hosted a radio talk show, “Behind the Badge,” at Shaw University’s WSHA.FM, along with on-air personality Nicole Gye’Nyame.
In 2010, Dolan joined an effort to defeat an Arizona immigration bill that eventually became law. In a national telephone news conference, Dolan warned that the measure would distract police from combating other crimes and foster distrust among immigrants and minorities.