Detroit Chief Making Sweeping Changes Under Emergency Order


In the three months since he became Detroit’s 42nd police chief, James Craig has used his power under the city’s emergency manager to make the most sweeping changes to the Detroit Police Department in decades — and more changes are coming, the Detroit News reports. Decisions Craig has made since July 1, such as reconfiguring the organizational structure and meting out officer discipline, would have required permission from the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners or the mayor under the old system.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's Executive Order No. 11 gives the chief unprecedented power. The police board continues to meet each week, with commissioners wondering if they still have any say in crafting department policy. Craig said he is restructuring the department in three phases. He announced the first step by retaining James White as assistant chief and promoting former Inspector Eric Jones to assistant chief. The next phase is under way as he selects a team of deputy chiefs. Craig, who said the department is top-heavy, is eliminating seven commanders and instituting the rank of captain.

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