Greensboro’s new police chief


The city of Greensboro is looking for a new police chief after’… well, we don’t have the space to get into all the events that precipitated the search, but suffice it to say that they are looking for someone with a background in law enforcement who is tough on crime, able to walk the tightrope between city politics and the needs of the citizenry, and also preferably, one who does not racially profile the officers under his or her command.

And through the city’s own website,, it advertises opportunities for Greensboro residents to give input on the man or woman who would be chief including an online form that, no doubt, will weigh heavily in the decisions to appoint the new No. 1 cop once it gets in the right hands.

But because we don’t completely trust the internets to do what they say they will, our suggestions for the new chief of police follow here.

For starters, we should say that we are satisfied with the job interim chief Tim Bellamy has done since his appointment in January after Chief Wray’s resignation – he’s always played straight with our reporters and, we believe, shown an adept hand at steering this department he was put in place to salvage.

But perhaps we need a more political animal as chief, one with sound business connections and a pretty face for the TV cameras. How about Joey Medaloni, the downtown restaurant owner who was at the vanguard of the district’s renaissance? He’s got more time since he’s sold off the N Club; he’s quick with a handshake and he always remembers everybody’s name. Of course, there’s a nasty rumor going around that he may soon be working for George W. Bush, but we’ll believe that when we see it. Much as we admire the work Medaloni has done for Greensboro, we don’t think it’s enough to put him on the president’s payroll. Besides, we believe his stabilizing presence downtown is a good thing.

Then there’s John and Willie Hammer, editor and publisher of watchdog weekly The Rhinoceros Times who have recently taken an interest in police deployment. They could share the office in kind of a Romulus and Remus deal, only with a happier ending.

But perhaps what we need in the top-cop spot is a woman’s touch. To that end we nominate Sue Polinsky, a local business owner and activist. She’s into everything – Action Greensboro, the Community Theatre, Center City Park and a couple handfuls of foundations – she’s got a doctorate in diversity and she’s a pretty tough broad.

Of course, if it’s pragmatic law and order we’re after, maybe we’re barking up the wrong dogwood.

How about a tough guy, a maverick who doesn’t always play by the rules and has such disdain for criminals that he’ll go to great, perhaps even outrageous, lengths to neutralize them?

Good news: Gerald Hege, former sheriff of Davidson County – the one who painted the jails pink before pleading to two felony counts of obstruction of justice – finishes his parole in May 2007, just in time to take the job.