Detroit, MI – Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced on Monday that he would be retiring on June 1 after eight years as the city’s top cop, but he wouldn’t confirm rumors that he’s considering a bid for Michigan governor.
Chief Craig called his retirement “bittersweet” after 44 years in law enforcement, WDIV reported.
Chief Craig stressed that he had made the decision to leave the department on his own, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“I’m leaving in a good place, I love this city and I love this state,” the police chief told reporters at a press conference on May 10.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he was working with the Board of Police Commissioners to find an interim chief while a longer search was conducted for a permanent replacement, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Chief Craig said the interim chief would likely be selected from within the department.
He said he planned to collaborate with his replacement to ensure smooth transition of leadership before his departure, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The Board of Police Commissioners is responsible for finding and interviewing potential candidates for a permanent chief of police.
The mayor will choose the final candidate, who must then be approved by the Detroit City Council, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Chief Craig, 64, said that 2020 had been the hardest year of his decades-long career on the police force.
“Our profession, nationally, is in crisis,” he said. “I’ve coined the phrase: Cops count, leadership matters. The vast majority do it right, and let’s face it the aggression against our police officers is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed.”
The mayor told reporters that he had tried to talk Chief Craig out of retiring, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“I tried to convince him to change his mind up until last night,” Duggan said.
Chief Craig is a Detroit native who started his law enforcement career with the Detroit Police Department in 1977, the Detroit Free Press reported.
He left the department because of staffing cuts and join the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) where he rose to the rank of captain and retired after 28 years.
Chief Craig next became chief of police in Portland, Maine, the Detroit Free Press reported.
He stayed in Portland for two years before become Cincinnati’s police chief.
Chief Craig returned to Detroit in 2013 to head up his hometown police force, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“The best part of my career has been right here in the city of Detroit,” the police chief told reporters.
Various news outlets have reported that Chief Craig plans to run for governor.
He refused to confirm rumors that he was considering a run for governor of Michigan but told reporters he was considering all his options, WDIV reported.
“I have not made that decision. I am not ruling it out,” Chief Craig said. “There’s an appropriate time and I will get past this and then I will come out with a decision.”
“I am deeply passionate for public service, not just public service but in the leadership role,” he added.