SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - Detroit's new Police Chief, James Craig wants people to know he's already making changes. On Friday, Chief Craig met with reporters to address what he says are a list of concerns he has with the department he now heads up.
One of the first things the Chief addressed was the failure of Detroit's radio system. It's the main communication piece between officers in the field and dispatchers directing them to calls across the metro Detroit area. Last Friday the radio system failed.
"We know now that it's a hardware issue," Chief Craig said regarding the radio mishap last week. "The hardware most likely failed due to heat."
He says it was heat at one of the radio transmission towers. Right now the city only has nine of its 10 towers in operation. That's 90% functionality. He calls what happened last week with the radio system failing completely unacceptable.
He's already met with the vice president of Motorola and says the radio system will be checked quarterly.
Craig wasn't quick to blame Motorola for the problem or his other top brass. Instead pointing out that accountability will be paramount going forward in his administration.
He also addressed homicides in the city. Providing numbers but also giving clarity on the fact that he is concerned, "Yes, I am concerned about clearance rates." Chief Craig said. "I'm also equally concerned about morale. You know what's interesting about morale, when morale is up a police agency goes up, crime goes down."
Part of improving morale is improving safety for his officers one bullet proof vest at a time, "One of the things I'm most concerned about is the fact that we have expired bullet proof vests on some of our officers," he said. "I think that number is 365 now."
Engagement of the community is how he helps to tackle the crime. Engaging the community through various community forums and keeping police stations across the town open around the clock.