DETROIT – For the first time in eight years there is a new leader at the Detroit Police Department (DPD).
Starting Tuesday, interim police chief James White is in charge of the department following the retirement of James Craig.
Craig, the former DPD police chief, has officially retired.
Craig has been in law enforcement for 44 years. White will take over as interim police chief until a board of police commissioners along with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan work to find a permanent replacement. White is the former Detroit assistant police chief.
“First thing I did was met with staff and said hello to everybody,” said White.
No major changes were announced on White’s first day.
With White’s background in counseling and mental health, Detroit might send mental health professionals with officers on mental health calls. However, there is a lot that will have to go into that.
“Any talk of adding mental health professionals going with officers,” Local 4 News asked White.
In response White said, “It is a fantastic idea. You’re not going to have mental health professionals instead of police. Certainly, you’ll have them along side police.”
Next the chief says he wants his officers to be visible cruising neighborhoods and talking to residents.
He says gun violence is a huge issue that he must address.
“We are going to target hot spots, absolutely,” said White. “We have to reduce this gun violence, we are going to do so by targeting those areas high in crime.”
White has to compete for this job. He is not the full-time chief yet.
“I don’t need to be distracted. We have crime to fight, let the chips fall where they may,” he said.