Mayor Announces James White as Permanent Police Chief

DETROIT — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Monday afternoon his selection for Detroit’s Police Chief. James White who has served as interim police chief for the past three months, has been vying for the permanent role.

“In a different time in Detroit, it would’ve been a problem, years when you had five police chiefs in five years you were always scrambling, but it’s a different day,” said Mayor Duggan.  “We have a very strong and deep leadership team”. The mayor made it a point to demonstrate leadership and stability is what will remain in place as a result of his selection of White.

During an afternoon press conference, White was joined by members of the community, faith-base, and police commissioners, who stood in support of the Mayor’s choice for Chief.

“I think what has come out now is a very good option for the city of Detroit, said Rev. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP. “I think Chief White comes at a time when policing has come under scrutiny. Detroit has been blessed that we have been able to work cooperatively with the police department. …He has a background of mental education and psychological  training which you need. He understands people. He has demonstrated himself to be transparent.”

“Its been 90 days since I had this honor serving as interim chief since June 1st, “said, James White. “I set a goal with my command team for violence reduction. For those who know me, know that I am stat driven. I want to look at what can we do, ‘are we doing absolutely everything we can to impact crime?’, recognizing everybody can’t be arrested, everybody can’t go to prison”.

White announced crime fell 20% during his time as interim chief, since June 1st.



Per the City of Detroit’s 2011 charter, the board of police commissioners were charged with selecting a firm to conduct a national hiring search. The field of candidates for interview were narrowed to under 10 and three candidates were selected and referred to the mayor for review. The mayor’s selection of White has been given to city council for a 30-day review and then a vote to approve or disapprove. If council doesn’t reach a voting decision after 30 days, the mayor’s selection becomes automatically permanent.


White was selected as interim police chief following the retirement of former police chief James Craig. Craig announced he would retire from the department in early May. Previously, White served as director of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission after spending years with the Detroit Police Department and most recently as assistant police chief in 2020.

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