James Craig Hired As New Detroit Police Chief
Detroit has a new top cop.
Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig announces his plans to resign from the Ohio city’s police department in 30 days time to assume the leadership of Detroit’s police department.
In a press conference, he acknowledged that Detroit had challenges, but pledged to change the department.
“One of things that concerns me is the level of violence in Detroit. I know that we will turn that around,” he said, according to WDIV. “This is not something that I think, this is something that I know.”
In an exclusive interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Craig told the newspaper that “going to Detroit is the ultimate job for me.”
He will stay with the Cincinnati police department for 30 more days before heading north to Detroit, he told the Enquirer.
It’s not the first time Craig has tried for the job, according to the Detroit Free Press. In 2010, the paper said he emailed Mayor Dave Bing expressing interest in applying for the position.
Craig’s career began in Detroit as a police officer in 1977, where he served for four years before moving to Los Angeles and joining the LAPD in 1981. Los Angeles was where Craig advances from sworn officer to top brass, achieving the rank of Captain III before retiring from the force in 2009.
He left Los Angeles for a radically different city and opportunity — the gig of police chief in Portland, Maine, where Craig reportedly lowered crime stats by 10 percent and created the force’s first strategic plan.
In 2011, he became the 13th police chief of Cincinnati. Conversely, the city of Detroit has had 5 police chiefs in 5 years. After Ralph Godbee resigned after a romantic scandal, Chief Chester Logan served until he announced his retirement, stating that he was leaving to take care of his sick wife.
The Cincinnati Police Department has more problems beyond Craig’s departure. According to the Enquirer, the city must lay off 66 officers as it grapples with a $35 million budget deficit.