“This community is resilient, this community is engaged, and this community is about making Detroit a safer city.”
~ Police Chief James Craig, as reported by the Detroit Free Press
Yesterday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James Craig made a big announcement. They announced that after was Craig referred to as one of the ”easiest contract negotiation” he’s even handled, that his contract would extended for another 2 years. This put Craig’s contract ending in the middle of 2017.
Unless either party gives 12 months notice not to renew the contract, the contact will be renewrf for another year. The Police Chiefs salary is $225,000 per year.
According to the Detroit News, if the mayor tries to end the contract without cause, the city will have to pay the remainder of the contract. In addition, if Craig terminates his contract without cause, he will also have to pay the remainder of the contract to the city.
Back in 2013 when Craig started the job, the Detroit Police Department was still under Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. It was Kevyn Orr who appointed Craig as Detroit’s Police Chief.
While Duggan didn’t appoint Craig, he has a lot of good things to say about Detroit Police Chief,
“In his first two years, Chief Craig has made remarkable progress bringing down crime and building the department’s partnership with the community,” “Detroit is a better city today because of him. I’m so grateful that he has made the choice to stay with us and make Detroit his home again for the long term.” ~ Mayor Mike Duggan, reported by Michigan Live.
Since Craig Has Been Chief
While no one will argue that Detroit has a way to go in becoming a safer city, there are some major improvements that have been made since James Craig became the Detroit Police Chief,
- Response to 911 calls have decreased from 37 minutes to 16 minutes.
- Criminal homicides hit a low of 300 in 2014. That is the lowest in almost 50 years.
- Property and violent crime has decreased by 16 percent in 2014 in comparison to 2013.
Police Chief James Craig’s History
James Craig is a Detroit native having graduated from Cass Technical High School. In 1977, he became a Detroit police officer and worked in Detroit until he was laid off in 1981. Then, he moved to Los Angeles. After spending most of his career there, he became police chief of Portland, Maine in 2009. Craig spent time in Cincinnati as police chief before taking the post in Detroit.
When Craig took the job in his hometown, he told the Detroit Free Press, that he wanted to be chief “as long as Detroit will have me.”
While criminal homicide rates were the lowest we’ve seen since the 1960s in 2014, this year the rate of homicides have increased. The Detroit Free Press reported that as of May 10, Detroit had already seen 101 homicides this year, compared to the 81 this time last year.
Detroit still has work to do. Do you agree with Mayor Mike Duggan that James Craig is the man to lead our police department? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.