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James Craig starts new job as Detroit police chief

James Craig is Detroit's new police chief
cincinnati-oh.gov via CBS Detroit
(CBS) DETROIT - Detroit's new police chief is on the job.

James Craig spent part of his first day Monday meeting with rank-and-file officers, including from the 10th Precinct, where he got his start in policing in 1977, CBS Detroit reports.

"The ability to come home and serve this community - because I'm still very much a part of this community, I still have strong ties here, my family still lives here and I've never lost my love for the city of Detroit. So, coming home, it's an honor," he said.

According to CBS Detroit, Craig started his law enforcement career at the age of 19. He was a police officer in Los Angeles and then chief in Portland, Maine and Cincinnati before his new assignment.

Among his biggest challenges, Craig said Monday, will be getting more working vehicles and equipment in the hands of those who serve.

"We're the Motor City, the automobile capital, and we got dilapidated police cruisers, cars with paint peeling off the hood. I will hold, and I'm going to say it loud and clear, I will hold the command staff accountable from the rank of lieutenant and above to support the men and women who do this job," he said.

CBS Detroit reported that Craig said improving departmental morale while growing community trust and support are key to reducing violence in the city.

"I'm invested in Detroit, and we're no longer going to accept this as the norm," he said. "What, over the weekend, 13 shootings? And nobody gets excited? There should be an outcry. People should be angry. Have we gotten to a place where this is OK?"

Craig will earn $225,000 a year in his new role. In introducing his choice for police chief in May, Mayor Dave Bing said Craig faces a "hellacious" job, saying he has to handle a department rife with officer strife, budget problems, high crime and recurring scandals.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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