Detroit Mayor Dave Bing fired Police Chief James Barren, who had served less than a year, reports the Detroit News. Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans will replace Barren effective Monday. Bing did not immediately explain the change. Barren, 57, a longtime officer and psychologist, left a job running a counseling center to serve under then-interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. Barren received high marks from rank-and-file officers for boosting morale, which had sagged during Kwame Kilpatrick’s administration.
Some sources speculated that the firing likely stemmed from the department’s reaction to the shooting of seven teens at a city bus stop on Tuesday. Bing announced Thursday he would crack down on youth violence with the help of the federal government and community members. John Bennett, a officer who runs a Web site, detroituncovered.com, said Barren’s handling of the shootings should not have been a factor. “When things happen, like what happened with the school shooting the other day, normally the police chief will grandstand and make a bunch of speeches. Barren is not that kind of guy. He’s more interested in getting the job done than making speeches,” he said.