Detroit Police Chief holds open community dialogue with emphasis on mental health

- Detroit's police chief is opening up to the community, talking to residents face-to-face about problems plaguing the city.

Thursday's sit-down comes a week after two of his officers were shot, prompting the chief to talk mental health and the dangers of policing the streets.

The police chief held his real talk on social media here at Starter's Bar and Grill.

He and the people talked about community relations, the Green Light Project and mental health.

Surrounded by community organizations and everyday residents in Detroit, it was a pleasant exchange of dialogue about the resources needed in the neighborhoods.

But then, the talk got even more real and passionate when the topic of mental health came up between City Councilman Gabe Leland and Police Chief James Craig.

"In your answer if you could, just explain to the community about where your officers are at the training as it relates to mental health, that would be excellent," Leland said.

The chief went on to answer the councilman's question, but first gave his blunt opinion on the matter.

"So let's talk about mental health for a moment. It's broken," Craig said.

Chief Craig spoke about the two Detroit police officers shot in the line of duty last week, now recovering from their injuries, and the man arrested who has also become the suspect in the murder of Wayne State University Police officer Colin Rose, who was shot and killed in November.

"Especially when you talk about violence against our law enforcement officers -- 9 times out of 10 it's probably involving some mental disability, but what we really doing about it? How long does it take for us to study this issue?" Craig said.

The chief then spoke on officers at his department, but then raised another question.

"We give our officers tremendous training, but at the end of the day as lawmakers what are we really doing to push this issue?" Craig said.

Chief Craig has been vocal in supporting President Trump's efforts in making mental health a core issue.


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