DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - Detroit’s new top cop had his first day on the job on Monday and made a lot of promises.
”We will get this done. We will reduce violence in this city,” said Detroit Police Chief James Craig to officers during roll call this afternoon at the 10th precinct in Detroit.
Chief Craig promised to provide officers with safer equipment, including squad cars, and to boost the morale around the department.
“We can’t have a safe city if we don’t take care of the cops. And I’m going to take care of the cops,” said Chief Craig.
He promised residents a safer city. Detroit had 13 shootings over the weekend and Chief Craig called them unacceptable.
“We will get this done. We’re going to turn it around. This is going to be one of the safest cities. We are going to raise the morale, and I have the right people to make it happen,” he said. He gave the criminals a stern warning. “It’s over. It is absolutely over,” said Chief Craig.
This afternoon, Chief Craig went into the field to commend officers and swat members for taking down a carjacking ring after a standoff on the city’s west side. Police arrested seven suspects believed to have gone on a recent crime spree. The suspects are believed to be responsible for three recent carjackings that include a violent beating of a 71-year-old man Sunday night. Police also recovered three guns from the suspects.
“The message is, you will go to jail,” he said. Chief Craig assured residents they can expect police with faster response times for violent crimes in progress and an an end to virtual precincts with closed doors.
“This is not Culver City, California where we can shut the doors up. This is the city of Detroit. I want to make sure that when a community member needs to come into the police station, that the doors are open,” he said.
Chief Craig said he has a different way of doing things that will help clean up the streets of the Motor City. His parents still live here and Detroit is where he started his career until he got laid off and then found work in Los Angeles for 28 years. He most recently comes to Detroit from being police chief in Cincinnati. Chief Craig said he’s invested in the city.
“I’m passionate about. This is my calling,” he said.
Chief Craig said that he is also looking at putting an end to the 12 hour shifts because the majority of officers do not want that schedule. He has also been meeting with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and consultants in New York and Los Angeles including the former police chief of the L.A.P.D.
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