Controversy swirling around Detroit's new Chief of Police's salary range

James Craig who is set to start new position Monday will make $225,000 yearly

Author: Karen Drew, Local 4 Defender, Anchor, @KDrewLocal4, kdrew@wdiv.com
Published On: Jun 28 2013 05:47:21 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 28 2013 06:22:09 PM EDT
DETROIT -

Detroit's in-coming Chief of Police, James Craig, is set to start his new position first thing Monday morning and there could be trouble before he even starts.

There's a growing dispute in the city over how much Craig will be paid. The topic was the talk of City Council on Friday.

The question: how could the new chief be getting paid more money than the mayor, especially during a time of financial problems in the city?

Craig has been making the rounds this week talking to Detroiters about how he is going to help Detroit. What he says is making people happy, but what he is getting paid is making some on City Council upset.

"I've got a problem with that, I really do, and I just need to see, I'd prefer to see the justification for it," said City Council member Ken Cockrell.

During a morning session Friday, Craig's salary of $225,000 was brought up; he will receive about $60,000 more than the mayor makes.

"He'd better have every criminal off the street by the summer's end to justify a salary," said Cockrell.

Council members discussed how the salary is way out of the typical range a police chief has ever been paid in the city.

Typically the past pay range in Detroit was from $80,000 to $140,000.

Comparing to other similarly sized cities, reports show the Boston Police Chief makes about$160,000 and the Columbus Police Chief makes $146,000.

"He might be, very well deserve it up but to justify a large salary, I think the public will say, this guy had better be darned as sure to be superman," said Cockrell.

Local 4 contacted the emergency manager Kevin Orr's office to get a comment about Craig's salary and his office issued a statement in part reading, "That is competitive with chief salaries in similarly sized departments. Detroit needs a change agent in the department and we have to compete on a national level to get that kind of talent."