Who will be Detroit's next police chief? We take a look at the top 3 candidates

Posted at 2:35 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 17:45:50-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Who will be Detroit's next Chief of Police?

Three candidates have been sent to Mayor Mike Duggan for consideration to be selected as Detroit's next top cop.

They are Interim Chief James White, Wayne County Deputy Sheriff Robert Dunlap, and Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox.


The Detroit job pays $200,000 a year.

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"This is a moment I’ve been preparing for over the last 35 years of my career in law enforcement," Wayne County Sheriff Chief of Jails and Courts Robert Dunlap.

Robert Dunlap has lived his entire life in Detroit and was one of 14 candidates who applied to be Wayne County Sheriff last winter.

Dunlap told commissioners his priorities as chief come from fellow Detroiters.

"Some of the biggest things I hear in the community is, unfortunately, the drifting, the drag racing, the lawlessness. People not feeling safe," Dunlap said. "To be very specific, that drag racing has been going on for at least 50 plus years. Since I was a kid."

He says he would set aside a location to let it happen, something previous chief James Craig discussed.

"Find a space to give them a place," he said.


Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox did not apply for this job.

He was contacted by the headhunter.

He told us, by making this selection process competitive, Detroit will get a better chief.

"I will say as an outsider looking in, you know there's a lot of good things going on in Detroit police department," Cox said. "They work with citizens they work with youth. They're out there every day trying to protect the citizens that are here. And in some ways, it seems like that they may be a little understaffed, for sure."

Detroit currently has 2602 sworn officers and 109 vacant positions.

When new officers come in, they are often lured to suburban jobs which are safer and have better pay.

Facial recognition is also still used in Detroit—a controversial practice as it can give false results especially with people of color.

"I’m all for using the technology to help you, but not to rely on something particularly when it’s unreliable," Cox said.

Detroit continues to make news this summer. The ultimate in disrespect, a woman dancing on top of a scout car with no calls for backup, no arrests in a big crowd.

Several instances of trouble with crowds in Greektown.

A Detroit police officer on suspension, and other cops under investigation after pushing and then punching a man who was not arrested and not given aid.


The interim chief told commissioners he’s continuing to learn on the job.