Chief Craig announces retirement from Detroit Police Department
DETROIT – Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced his resignation during a press conference Monday after heading the department for eight years.
He called retirement “bittersweet”. June marks 44 years in law enforcement. Craig said the best part of his career has been in the city of Detroit. He will retire on June 1st. He said his decision to retire was voluntary.
“I’m going to a good place. I love this city and I love this state, ”said Craig.
The video of the entire press conference will be available above shortly.
Rumors of Craig’s resignation circulated on Friday and continued over the weekend, along with news that the police chief is considering a future in politics. Sources say Craig is considering running for Michigan governor on the Republican Party ticket.
GOP sources have confirmed that Craig met with several Republican donors amid rumors of his candidacy for governor.
Craig said he hadn’t made a decision about going into politics. He said he would make a decision in the weeks after his retirement and when a decision was made he would inform the public.
“I didn’t make that decision. I am not ruling it out. There’s a fair time and I’ll get over it and then make a decision, “said Craig. “I am deeply passionate about the civil service.”
He wants to pursue something that will allow him to continue serving the public while in a leadership role.
Craig has confirmed that he is a Republican. He said he has been a Republican for over 10 years. He said many people already knew this about him, including some of his team members.
“As the chief of police, I serve everyone and that’s important to say,” said Craig.
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Craig has been the head of the Detroit Police Department (DPD) since 2013 when he was appointed by Emergency Manager Kevin Orr. He is the longest-serving DPD boss since boss Bill Hart.
Chief Craig grew up in Detroit and began his career in the city in 1977. When DPD saw a downsizing, Craig joined the Los Angeles Police Department and worked there for almost 30 years.
Before becoming head of DPD, Craig was head of the Portland Police Department in Maine for two years and then head of the Cincinnati Police Department for two years.
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Craig said until his last day in office is over he will continue to focus on running the department and working closely with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan as the city works to find its next police chief.
Craig said he was proud of the way his department handled the protests over the summer: “We didn’t retreat, the city didn’t burn and we are a role model for the country.”
He said he was also proud of the Real Time Crime Center, Greenlight Detroit (an idea he said started on a napkin) for how transparent they were with the issues in the 6th district and Operation Clean Sweep.
“We have a great team,” said Craig. “The department will be in good hands.”
Duggan spoke at the press conference and thanked Craig for his service.
“Chief Craig made the department professional and it was run very well. We’ve had an opportunity over time to rebuild officials’ salaries and quality facilities … The neighborhood police culture … has made this town a better place, “Duggan said.
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