Detroit Police Chief James Craig signs extension, plans expansion

Detroit's Police Chief isn't going anywhere, for now. Mayor Mike Duggan announced James Craig agreed to remain top cop through 2017. 

He's been on the jobs two years already and he started with a promise to curb crime in 2013. He's made sure  criminals know he means business by thrusting his high-profile raids and arrests into the media spotlight. 

We know he has the support of the mayor and City Council but what about the streets? Maurice L. Hardrick is part of the Live in Peace Movement and says Craig is the right for the city.

"He's stamped from the streets to the suites. We love chief Craig and we're ready to work with him," Hardrick said.

The deal announced Thursday guaranteed Craig two years plus a one-year option, forever. However, if he leaves before his term expires, he's going to owe the city, big, according to Mayor Duggan.

"If the chief leaves before his deal is up, he pays us his salary for the balance of his term. I'm going to make sure other cities don't come recruiting our chief. If they do, we're going to make it really expensive for them," Duggan said.

How expensive? His yearly salary is $225,000. That's a lot to pay back.

But two questions remain: is the city safer and is he worth it?

Judging by statistics, yes. Every major crime in Detroit, homicides, robberies, and carjackings, have dropped since the chief took office in July 2013.

Year to date May 17, 2013.          

Homicide: 115
Robbery: 1,604
Carjacking: 214


Year to date May 17, 2015

Homicide: 108
Robbery: 997
Carjacking: 141

The President of the Police Union, Mark Diaz, said it's imperative Detroit get a chief that's here to stay.

There are so many different reasons why we need to extend the chief's contract. first off, we don't need to be switching chiefs every other year. In my 21 years as a police officer, for about 19 of those years, that's exactly what was happening. 

Now, with his job secure, Chief Craig wants to hire more officers and pay them more.

"In Cincinnati, starting pay is $51,000. I worked in Cincinnati and let me just say that the work the Cincinnati Police Officers do, compared to Detroit, it makes the world of difference," Craig said.


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