At White House briefing, Detroit police chief talks ‘intersection of crime and mental illness’

Detroit mayor Mike Duggan and police chief James White were in Washington on Friday to meet with President Joe Biden and other White House officials about ways to reduce violent crime.

WASHINGTON – Detroit mayor Mike Duggan and police chief James White were in Washington on Friday to meet with President Joe Biden and other White House officials about ways to reduce violent crime.

Chief White appeared in the White House briefing room and took questions from the podium before Jen Psaki’s official daily briefing started. He was asked if he had any requests for the federal government to offer resources or tools heading into the summer.

“We’re only one part of the judicial process,” White said. “We make the arrest, then there’s our courts, the prosecutor’s office, we have a number of different needs. And then there’s the intersection of crime with mental illness, and then we certainly recognize that we have a literacy problem in our country.”

White continued: “And so there are a number of different factors that drive crime. By the time someone commits a crime, there’s there’s a number of failed systems that has caused that to happen. So we are not going to simply arrest our last person and solve the problem. We have to do a lot of work. So I’ll be talking about those types of investments, community support, which we’ve been able to do with our Ceasefire Detroit, and provide that community programming, because I think that’s super important. Mental health is super important. Engaging the courts at a high levels is super important, and certainly supporting police officers and making sure that they’re properly trained in some of the areas that we’ve talked about today.”

You can watch Chief White’s full appearance at the White House podium in the video player above.

Related: Deeply personal conversations with Detroit police Chief James White: ‘The core of who I am’

Detroit police Chief James White meets with President Joe Biden.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.