INC NEWS - Lopez tapped as Durham's police chief (N&O)
bwatu at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 12 16:22:13 EDT 2007
Lopez tapped as Durham's police chief
By Matt Dees, News & Observer, 12 July 2007
Jose Lopez Sr. of Hartford, Conn., is in final
negotiations with City Manager Patrick Baker to become
Durhams new police chief, The News & Observer has
Several people with knowledge of the search and hiring
process, speaking on condition of anonimity, said
Lopez will travel to Durham either tomorrow or
Saturday to allow his wife to get to know the area.
My understanding is that it is Lopez, if she comes
and theres not a problem, one of the sources said.
Apparently Lopez is excited about it.
An official announcement is expected next week.
Reached for comment in Connecticut, where he is an
assistant chief with the Hartford Police Department,
Lopez would not confirm the reports.
At this point in time, Im waiting for the city
manager to notify me, he said today.
The other two finalists for the job are Ron Hodge,
deputy chief in Durham, and Don Green, a deputy chief
in the Knoxville (Tenn.) Police Department.
Lopez, 53, has earned praise during his 24-year tenure
in Hartford for being tough on gangs, a visible and
vocal presence in the community and for holding police
He has confronted gang leaders head on and warned them
that they would be arrested if any of their underlings
And Lopez prides himself on being a disciplinarian,
not hesitating to suspend or fire officers who dont
meet his standards.
Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez said in May, when Lopez was
announced as a finalist, that his city's loss would be
Durham's gain. "He is a cop's cop, a streetwise cop,"
"He's a community-builder, but still a tough
law-enforcement cop. He's gone up through the ranks
and done a wonderful job for us."
But Hartford has continued to struggle with high crime
numbers during Lopezs tenure.
In fact, Hartfords violent crime rate in 2006, in
relation to population, was more than 30 percent
higher than Durhams.
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