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Detroit Police Chief Isn’t A Certified Officer, Can’t Make Arrests

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Detroit Police Chief James Craig (Credit: Jon Hewett/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Detroit Police Chief James Craig (Credit: Jon Hewett/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Officials say Detroit’s police chief isn’t certified as an officer in Michigan.

Dave Harvey, executive director of the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, told The Detroit News the commission sent James Craig paperwork to become certified when he took command in July, but it hasn’t been returned.

Detroit police spokeswoman Kelly Miner said Craig plans to become certified as an officer in Michigan. Certification by the commission isn’t required as police chief, but Miner said Craig plans to complete the process voluntarily.

The issue came up after Craig told residents attending a community meeting on how not to get carjacked that he barely avoided one in recent weeks.

Craig told the crowd of about 50 people that he was sitting in his police cruiser at a red light when someone began running toward the passenger side of his vehicle. Once he noticed the suspected carjacker, Craig hightailed it out of there, or in his words “accelerated out of harm’s way.” After leaving the scene, Craig said he candidly got angry and thought ”I can’t believe this just almost happened.”

Craig caught flak after the incident from many who said he should have risen to action, instead of running away. But without his certification, Craig’s arrest powers are limited to those akin to a citizen’s arrest.

However, Craig is a retired officer, meaning he is allowed to carry a concealed weapon under federal law.

MORE: Detroit Police Chief Criticized Over ‘Carjacking’ Victim Experience

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