Tuesday is the last day for Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Chief James Craig
Posted at 9:49 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 09:49:59-04

(WXYZ) — Tuesday is the last day for former Detroit Police Chief James Craig. He will retire and James White took over the department as interim chief.

White, a former assistant chief, had been heading up the state's civil rights department.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says he selected White because he "kept coming back" to what happened last year when COVID-19 was ravaging the Detroit Police Department. White stepped up and ran the department when Chief Craig contracted the coronavirus.

White is a 24-year veteran of the DPD who was born and raised in Detroit. He served in leadership positions throughout his career, including Assistant Chief beginning in 2012 until he left the department in August 2020. Duggan says he was instrumental in getting the DPD released from a two-decade-long federal consent decree.

“Having grown up in the City of Detroit and in the Detroit Police Department, I am deeply honored and humbled to have been appointed as Interim Chief of Police for the great city of Detroit,” White said. “I am returning to the Detroit Police Department after having spent the last 8 months serving the citizens of this state as Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, a position that has allowed me to work with the Michigan Civil Rights Commission on initiatives such as Equity in Education and Equity in Minority and Women-owned Businesses.”

On May 12, Craig announced he was retiring from the department with rumors swirling he'd run for governor as a Republican against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A native Detroiter, Craig, 64, began his career as an officer with the Detroit Police Department, before leaving for the LAPD where he spent 28 years. Before returning to Detroit, Craig spent two years as police chief in Cincinnati.

"The best part of my career has been right here in the city of Detroit," he said at a press conference.

Following Craig's retirement, the mayor's office said the board of police commissioners will conduct a search to identify a list of candidates for Craig's permanent replacement. Duggan says White will compete in the process along with all other candidates developed by the commissioners.