Mayor Duggan names James White as his choice for permanent Detroit police chief

Duggan’s choice will have to be approved by Detroit City Council

James White at an Aug. 23, 2021, press conference, during which Mayor Mike Duggan named him as his selection for permanent Detroit police chief.
James White at an Aug. 23, 2021, press conference, during which Mayor Mike Duggan named him as his selection for permanent Detroit police chief. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan has named James White as his selection for the permanent chief of the Detroit Police Department.

“Today, I will be sending my recommendation to Detroit City Council,” Duggan said.

Duggan’s choice still has to be approved by the Detroit City Council when they return from recess. The council members will have 30 days to act. The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners compiled a list of candidates, and Duggan said he has interviewed those candidates.

“I interviewed all three,” Duggan said. “I felt good about all three, but I think anybody in this city who has watched the way that James White has handled himself in the last two months feels very good about where the Detroit Police Department is heading.”

There were 44 names that the police commission cut down to nine, Duggan said. After doing their interviews, they recommended three finalists to the mayor: White, Chief Michael Cox, of Ann Arbor, and Robert Dunlap, the administrator at the jail.

White is currently the interim Detroit police chief and has held that position since James Craig retired on June 1.

When White was named interim chief, he said he would compete for the permanent job and that he planned to “work harder than anyone” to prove he is the right choice.

“Assuming (the Detroit City Council) doesn’t disapprove this, Chief White will be the permanent chief,” Duggan said.

He said White was also the “overwhelming choice” for the Board of Police Commissioners.

White said during his time as interim chief he’s learned even more about the importance of the community to the department.

“As I stand here before you today, humbled and honored for this opportunity, I want you to know, candidly, that I’m going to support these officers, but I’m going to require that there is excellence and a drive toward excellence in policing.”

White talked about some of the city’s improving crime stats, but said he’s not satisfied and wants to see those trends continue.

You can watch the full press conference below.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.