The City of Detroit’s new interim police chief James White started his new role on Tuesday, just as the Board of Police Commissioners expects to see information about candidates for Detroit’s new police chief within the next three to four weeks for review, Chair Willie E. Bell announced, per a press release.
Fox 2 reported that White wants to be the permanent police chief. Former Police Chief James Craig announced in May his plans to retire to the surprise of city leaders.
Craig said previously during a press conference that his 44-year career has always been on the up and up.
“I’m blessed and fortunate to say I never had a bad day,” he said during a press conference announcing his retirement on Monday, May 10. “I will miss it.”
Craig, 64, a Cass Technical High School 1974 graduate, entered the DPD at 19 years old and his expansive career of over four decades includes being a public servant and leader in the police field in California and Maine.
After serving as chief of police for eight years he told members of the media today at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters, Skylar Herbert Room that he’s putting down his badge for greener pastures when he retires in June.
“(It is) an exciting day certainly – bittersweet,” Craig said holding his composure. “June marks 44 years as a public servant in this profession. It’s been a phenomenal journey … the best part of my career has always been in the city of Detroit.”
Fox 2 reported that White’s priorities include handling the rising crime rate and gun violence.
“The idea is not necessarily to lock everybody up – you can’t arrest your way out of problems – but it’s to be visible in those communities. So right out the gate, we want to make sure we have everybody who can patrol to be patrolling,” White said in the article, adding that handling racial injustice is important, too. “We’ll expand on that. In fact, I am going to build a diversity, equity. and inclusivity unit immediately. That’s something that is non-negotiable. We are beyond the point of discussion on equity and inclusiveness. It’s something that has to be dealt with across the country, let alone in the department.”
This new change is coming on the heels of the Board of Commissioners’ national search for the next permanent chief.
The City Charter requires the Board to conduct a national search and to select three finalists to submit to the Mayor for his appointment. The Mayor’s appointment is subject to City Council approval. “The Board approved a contract with TJA Staffing Inc. of Detroit, a nationally-respected executive search firm,” Bell said. “Our contract sets the framework for the search, applications, interviews, and finalist selections to take place within three months. We expect to see information about the candidates this month.”
Bell said that the search firm will receive submissions from all interested candidates, interview 20-30 candidates, and present the resumes and profiles of the most-qualified candidates to the Board. The Board will determine the candidates it wants to interview and whether to hold the interviews via Zoom or in person, Bell said, adding that the Board also has the option to review and evaluate resumes without interviews to develop its list of finalists.
The Board of Police Commissioners meets weekly on Thursday at 3 p.m. on Zoom.us due to the public health precautions during the pandemic.
For the Board meeting link, video, minutes, and other information, visit the website at detroitmi.gov/bopc.
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