Cincinnati’s First Black, Outsider Chief: James Craig of Portland, Me.


In two years as police chief in Portland, Maine, James Craig–newly appointed chief in Cincinnati–reduced crime, bridged a divide between police and the city's growing immigrant communities and cut the budget, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Appointed by Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney, Craig’s selection is historic both as the first chief hired from outside the city's police ranks and is the first African-American for the job. “It's no secret I've been an outsider most of my career,” Craig told the Enquirer. “People keep asking, 'Are you going to do exactly what you did in L.A. and Portland?' I don't know yet. I can tell you I know of some basic strategies that work and I believe in partnerships.”

He's confident his experience in leadership roles during his short but successful tenure in Portland and 28 years working for the Los Angeles Police Department will serve him and Cincinnati well. City leaders hope so, and will pay him $135,000 a year, compared to $93,000 in Portland. He made $170,000 in his last year before retirement from the LAPD. He replaces Tom Streicher, who retired in March. “He's been fantastic,” said Portland City Councilwoman Jill Duson. “He managed to do that combination of tapping the right people, both experienced and new. He brought a lot of energy to the city.”

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