As Detroit’s 5th Chief in 5 Years, Can Craig Succeed Where Others Didn’t?

Detroit has had five police chiefs in five years, and each made essentially the same promises on assuming command of the Detroit Police Department: lowering the crime rate, emphasizing community policing, and putting more officers on patrol. How might new Chief James Craig differ from his predecessors, asks the Detroit News. Unlike previous chiefs, Craig has experience turning around troubled police departments, experts said, which could help him succeed where others fell short.

“He’s done more than just talk about it; he’s gotten out there and proven himself,” said city manager Milton Dohoney of Cincinnati, where Craig has been chief for two years. “He hit the ground running, went out and engaged rank-and-file officers, and proved he was a good listener. He was perceived as fair, and he boosted officer morale.” Craig, 56, began patrolling Detroit’s 10th Precinct in 1977. He spent 28 years in the Los Angeles Police Department before serving as chief in Portland, Me., and Cincinnati. Ex-New York City and Los Angeles chief William Bratton said Craig has an attribute not shared by recent chiefs other than Jerry Oliver: He was hired from outside Detroit. “He was part of the turnaround” in Los Angeles, Bratton said.

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