DETROIT (WWJ) – Calling it an “honor” to be back home, newly named Detroit Police Chief James Craig said he’s ready to get to work.
Craig spent part of his first day on the job Monday meeting with rank-and-file officers — including those from the 10th Precinct, where he got his start in policing in 1977.
“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.
Among his biggest challenges, Craig said, 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.
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 acknowledged Craig faces a “hellacious” job, saying he has to handle a department rife with officer strife, budget problems, high crime and recurring scandals.