DETROIT – Police chief James Craig held his final graduation ceremony Friday as head of the Detroit Police Department.
He will retire from the department Tuesday after 44 years in law enforcement.
Craig reflected on his career as he presided over the graduation of 19 new police officers.
“I look back 44 years ago, I started short police academy. In fact it was June 1977,” Craig recalled. “I couldn’t help but think of myself sitting out there like these new officers.”
Craig talked about leaving, wanting to make change and inspire other officers, like those he mentored in departments across the country.
“This was not an easy decision. I felt I could have probably done 10 more years. Leadership is critically important this time,” Craig said. “I feel strongly that the department is going in the right direction. There were some tough moments for us last year, but when I look at what was going on and many other cities across the country? We did well.”
Craig, who isn’t officially off the job until Tuesday, remained tight-lipped about his next steps and a possible challenge to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“Al I can say is I’m humbled that so many have reached out. Not just locally, but across the country, encouraging me to seek office,” Craig said. “That’s something I’m evaluating very seriously.”
Craig said he thinks the department is in good hands under interim chief James White.
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