Detroit Chief Craig introduces 'mini police chiefs' program

Detroit's new 'neighborhood police officer' program has officers focusing on specific areas

DETROIT – Michael Crowder is one of Detroit's new 38 "neighborhood police officers."

He has patrolled the 12th Precinct for 16 years. Now, he'll focus on a large portion of it bounded by 8 Mile Road, 7 Mile Road, Woodward Avenue and Schaefer Highway.

"We have Palmer Woods, Green Acres, Sherwood Forest. Every time a problem arises we are the liaisons and the contact persons," said Crowder.

On Tuesday, Crowder and other neighborhood police officers (NPOs) were introduced to Detroit City Council members.

"You will now have someone that you can reach out and touch," said Chief James Craig.

Craig said the Skillman Foundation is donating $75,000 to give the NPOs cellphones and iPads. That will help them connect to the community and track crime trends big and small.

"We talk a lot about violent crime abatement, certainly addressing quality of life is a real key for making people feel safe in our city," said Craig.

Officers selected for the NPO program are getting 2 percent raises.

"They're like the mini police chief of that small geographic footprint," said Craig.

Crowder said he likes the "mini chief" title.

"It gives me the range to do what I need to do," he said.

The NPOs will be wearing patches with two stripes rather than the sergeant's three. A summit will be held to introduce the program to the entire community.