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The “First Do No Harm” Model of Policing

In 1829, Sir Robert Peel famously put forth his nine principles for policing which has served as a model for representative democracies throughout the world.  The First Peelian Principle, crafted by the creator of the Metropolitan Police in London and the man often credited with being the father of modern policing, simply states that “the […]

Matt Dolan, J.D. Read More
The 2020 Homicide Spike—Beyond the COVID-19 Explanation

Elected officials, journalists and some police chiefs have been offering possible explanations for the sudden and historic jump in homicides seen in cities across the country in 2020.  Most of these explanations point to the increased mental and economic stress brought on by COVID-19 and its related government restrictions as substantially contributing to the spike […]

Matt Dolan, J.D. Read More
Considering the Military Model for Recruiting and Retention in Law Enforcement

For the last several years, law enforcement agencies have struggled with the challenge of recruiting and, just as importantly, retaining qualified officers.  This problem was exacerbated for years by a healthy economy in which higher paying jobs were seen as a threat to recruiting and retention efforts.  In recent months, the greater threat to recruiting […]

Matt Dolan, J.D. Read More
Resiliency for Public Safety Professionals in 2021

This has been an unprecedented year—a pandemic with the associated lockdowns, an economic recession, protests, riots, rising violent crime in most major cities and a bitterly-contested national election. Public safety professionals have responded to increasing numbers of calls for domestic violence, suicides, drug overdoses, and rioting. Police, fire, and EMS personnel have been harmed in […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (Ret.) Read More
What Does Verbal De-escalation Training Actually Mean?

There has been much argument and political rhetoric used recently involving demands for police reform. One of the reforms mentioned frequently is the demand for “de-escalation training” for police officers, or the need for the police to “de-escalate” more.  What, however, does this really mean? To some it appears that “de-escalation” means the withdrawal of […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (Ret.) Read More
A Recruiting Boom for Small Town Departments?

In cities across the country, elected officials are publicly scapegoating police officers for all of society’s ills. Many are insisting that racially motivated police brutality is the greatest threat to their citizens, even when the facts to support such an assertion are strikingly and shamefully absent.  Many are advocating that police departments be de-funded as […]

Matt Dolan, J.D. Read More
Cops Need a Contract with Their Communities

Contracts are vital when it comes to matters of greatest importance in our lives. Buying a home, leasing a car, entering into a business partnership or even entering into a marriage—all of these involve different types of contractual agreements. As an attorney, I am wary of handshake deals and those who shy away from “putting […]

Matt Dolan, J.D. Read More
Historic Professionalism by Cops on the Front Lines: Taking a Moment to Assess the Progress of American Law Enforcement

Chief Harry P. Dolan (Ret.)In the last several days, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers across the country have been subjected to unrelenting verbal abuse and physical assaults.  Early on, many sustained injuries as they were attacked with rocks, feces, water bottles filled with urine and other objects that have been hurled their way […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (Ret.) Read More
Racial Profiling or Bad Research? Why We Should Stop Using Census Data

Public opinion surveys reveal that the vast majority of Americans believe that use of racial profiling by the police is widespread.[1] This is deeply disturbing for two reasons. First, it is disturbing because it undermines police legitimacy among the vast majority of our citizens. Second, it is disturbing because the vast majority of law enforcement […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Where Can We Find More Qualified Applicants?

Many law enforcement agencies across the nation have recently reported increasing difficulty in recruiting well-qualified individuals to serve as law enforcement officers. Their recruiting efforts are often targeted at criminal justice students in college, and military veterans. While there is nothing wrong with utilizing these two pipelines for qualified applicants, the fact that these methods […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D and Matt Dolan, J. D. Read More
The Need for Empathetic Verbal De-escalation Training for Healthcare Professionals

Most everyone within the healthcare field has encountered verbal hostility from patients, the family members of patients, or other staff members. However, have healthcare professionals been trained how to handle these situations with empathy, professionalism, and tact? While the significant attention directed toward maintaining the technical or clinical skills of medical staff is necessary, the […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Diversity in Police Recruiting—What Draws Members of Racial Minority Groups?

Many law enforcement agencies today are struggling to recruit enough quality applicants to fill the law enforcement officer vacancies they currently have or will have soon. At the same time, these agencies are under increasing pressure to achieve greater racial diversity in their pool of qualified applicants. To do so, law enforcement agencies need evidence-based […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Don’t Just Rely On Criminal Justice Students When Trying To Recruit Officers

We frequently hear from law enforcement leaders that they are struggling to recruit enough quality applicants to fill the law enforcement officer vacancies they currently have or soon will have. Often times, agencies look to university criminal justice programs as a pipeline for future officers. On its face, this strategy is a common sense one. […]

Attorney Matt Dolan, Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Your Department Doesn’t Match the Diversity of your Community?

Consider The Effects of Rapidly Changing Demographics Public safety agencies are facing ever-increasing pressure to have the racial and ethnic diversity of their employees match or exceed the racial and ethnic diversity found within the communities. Sheriffs, police chiefs, and fire chiefs are often being called to account by municipal government leaders, citizens’ groups, outside […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Dolan Consulting Training Members Of The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Dolan Consulting trained members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on verbal de-escalation from September 5-8, 2017. The Train The Trainer Course helps participants become teachers of verbal de-escalation techniques and gives them the tools they need to teach others how to defuse potentially volatile situations.

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New focus for officers: Community policing

Public furor over police shootings of black Americans, coupled with the sniper shootings that killed five officers in Dallas last week, may cause police departments nationwide to refocus on community policing principles. Research suggests increasing the presence of officers in communities, on foot or bike, and not in a vehicle, greatly reduces the fear of […]

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Aristotle helps officers in Greer learn to manage conflict

Officers undergoing training on how to de-escalate a tense situation focused on a central question Thursday: How would Aristotle work as a beat cop? Retired Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan shared his answer to that question, developed from his 32 years as a police officer, with a group of about 60 officers from Greer and […]

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Seminar teaches police to deal with verbal conflict

The situation echoed a scene that caught national attention and enraged protestors: two police officers approaching a man on the street selling cigarettes, upset over what he felt was unfair targeting. But unlike the way the 2014 arrest of Eric Garner ended in his death in New York City, this scene ended with Harry Dolan, […]

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Expert to Durham cops: What would Aristotle do?

DURHAM – Harry Dolan wants Durham cops to be more like Aristotle. Dolan, who retired as Raleigh’s police chief in 2012, believes the ancient Greek philosopher’s modes of persuasion – ethos, pathos and logos – can help save careers and even lives. At a day-long workshop Tuesday, he armed Durham police officers with verbal strategies for […]

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Community policing topic of symposium

Police must regularly communicate with the people they serve, as well as have positive contacts with people, in order to gain respect and trust, consultants told Martinsville Police Department officials on Thursday. “Negative contacts with police, if we can knock that out, that’s 50 percent of the battle” to convince people that police are striving […]

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Martinsville working toward “Community Policing”

MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) – Police in Martinsville are working to be more involved in the community. Officers there want input from the people in the community to influence how they enforce the law. At a symposium Thursday, speaker and former Sheriff Harry Dolan says this community policing concept began after several high profile cases around the […]

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Durham police trained in verbal de-escalation tactics

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly every Durham Police Department employee is now trained in verbal de-escalation tactics. The announcement was made Tuesday during the final training session led by retired Raleigh police chief Harry Dolan. The purpose of the training is to improve police-community relations, reduce citizen complaints and improve safety for officers and the […]

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New way of policing: Fayetteville police aim to de-escalate encounters

Sometimes, Fayetteville’s Chief Police Harold Medlock says, he can’t sleep, anxious there will an officer-involved shooting. “I wake up at night worried about that,” he said. After the riots in Ferguson, the protests in Chicago and the looting in Baltimore, every chief knows the potential for an explosion. Since 2013, Fayetteville police officers have been […]

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Developing Organizational Performance Leadership