Detroit Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson retires due to health issues

Jackson steps down just months after accepting position due to neurological health problem

DETROIT – Detroit Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson is retiring from his position due to health issues.

Jackson made the announcement Tuesday citing his struggle with a neurological health problem. The problem is described as a life-threatening issue with his brain. He will retire April 7, 2014.

Jackson was appointed interim Fire Commissioner by Mayor Mike Duggan after former commissioner Donald Austin resigned at the end of 2013.

"I truly appreciate the opportunity that Mayor Duggan gave me to lead the department I served my entire career," Jackson said. "Unfortunately, I have been dealing with some very serious health challenges that have only gotten worse over the past several weeks. After talking it over with my family, we felt it was best for me to step aside at this time and focus on my health."

Jackson is a native Detroiter and 25-year veteran who served as second deputy fire commissioner under Austin. He has been hospitalized eight times in his firefighting career.

Mayor Duggan said he was saddened to have to accept Jackson's resignation.

"Jonathan has had a distinguished and heroic career at the Fire Department and has served citizens extremely well as their Executive Fire Commissioner," Duggan said. "It could not have been an easy decision for him to retire before his efforts were able to bear fruit, but I understand and support his decision completely. What is most important right now is for him to get healthy and enjoy his retirement with his family."

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