Detroiters reflect on Police Chief James Craig’s impact on the city, neighborhoods

Community leaders weigh in on Chief Craig's decision to retire

DETROIT – Jerry Flynn Dale is a lifelong Detroiter.

“It’s a city on the upswing, always on the upswing,” Dale said.

Dale is 52 years old and has witnessed good and bad things about the city. He said over the years, especially since Detroit police Chief James Craig took over he has noticed a huge difference.

“I like the neighborhood policing. I can call Officer B.T. Coleman on his cell phone or go by his house. He’ll come by my house. He’ll meet you anywhere. That’s something under the leadership of James Craig, Chief Craig,” Dale said.

READ: Will Detroit police Chief Craig run for political office after retirement? He hasn’t decided yet

The community policing initiative is something Craig takes pride in. He said it’s important to get into the communities and neighborhoods in order to fight crime. Dale said he agrees.

“We don’t have the problems like Portland and all of the rest of the cities in America, because of Detroit Community Policing,” Dale said.

Dale said he’s shocked and a little disappointed that Craig is retiring. Craig has spent more than 40 years on the force.

“You know, we all love the chief,” Dale said.

Lo West feels otherwise. West was born and raised in Detroit.

“Amen. I’m glad Chief Craig is out of here,” West said.

West said she disagrees with Craig’s policies.

“He was the chief of police in Detroit while Green Light has expanded and for me that’s not something I stand for because it’s not safe for residents. You know, the only thing I saw about the neighborhood policing program is really just seeing kind of the cop cars parked in different places in the city where there’s no police at all that ever come. So it just feels like we’re being watched. It doesn’t guarantee safety to me,” West said.

WATCH: Chief Craig announces retirement from Detroit Police Department