MONDAY NEWS HIT - "Oh yes, I'm excited."
That's what James Craig said after a FOX News appearance this weekend when the interviewer referenced the bigger things in his future. He had been discussing the role police play in the community and how law enforcement should respond to dangerous scenes like the triple shooting in Times Square this weekend.
But it may not just be decisions about police that Craig can look forward to if the rumors that started circulating last Friday were true. A quiet end to the news week was turned upside down after sources confirmed Craig was planning to retire from his post in Detroit as he weighs a plan for governor.
The Detroit Police Department Chief's decision has added a new dimension to statewide politics. Republicans hadn't secured a candidate they believed could challenge incumbent Gretchen Whitmer in next year's gubernatorial race.
But as Politico reported this weekend, Craig had met with several leaders of the Michigan Republican Party recently, including Chair Ron Weiser. That could indicate a large field of potential support could be waiting for Craig if he were to run.
But Craig's consideration for office also adds a new dimension to the politics of race that have been significant talking points in previous elections. They have also been sources of tension for community activists that want to reduce police violence and were at times standing in opposition to Craig and the Detroit Police Department, especially last summer when widescale demonstrations swept through U.S. cities.
So how was the news taken by political experts and consultants? Even with a new candidate, the stances remain relatively unchanged.
"Ask John James. Once Detroiters find out he's a Republican, he's got a real problem," said Steve Hood, a political consultant.
"He would give Gretchen Whitmer a run for her money and he would be the next governor of the great state of Michigan," said Rocky Raczkowski, the Oakland County GOP Chair.
Could Craig, who many believe would run as a Republican, gain support in the largely Democratic city of Detroit where conservatives often poll poorly? Would a police chief be able to garner support among those skeptical of law enforcement? How might a conservative base respond to someone who has spent years in Detroit?
Craig has served in Detroit for the last eight years. He also served in law enforcement from Cinncinati and Los Angeles.
If he does decide to take his ambitions statewide, it won't be announced today. He's expected to speak later this afternoon.
Firefighters who were intoxicated while working resign
Two Detroit Firefighters who were suspected of being under the influence of alcohol during separate incidents earlier this year have resigned from their position within the department.
Both had caused damage to a vehicle, either the one they were driving or one they struck while operating a DFD vehicle. In February, one firefighter had been drinking at a party when he got called on a medical run. He smashed the rig into a parked car.
During a separate incident a week later, a captain crashed an SUV when they almost drove it onto the highway from the off-ramp. Footage of the scene afterwards showed the SUV hanging over the highway.
Both incidents sparked an internal review of substance abuse within the department due to the pervasive drinking that's been reported within the fire houses for years.
Police investigate sexual assault at Lawrence Tech
Southfield police are investigating reports of a sexual assault on Lawrence Tech's campus after a man forcibly touched a woman and exposed himself to her.
The incident happened behind the athletic field's trailers after the two started talking on the road bordering the campus. For an unknown reason, they left and went behind the trailers. "It sounds very dangerous to go behind any kind of object where anybody can see you," said Mardel Myers.
It's unclear if either of the parties involved is students at Lawrence Tech - police did not specify. However, they did say the suspect was a man in his early 20s, between five-foot-nine-inches and six-foot-tall, 160-175 pounds, and may have a tattoo on his left arm.
The woman fled the scene shortly after the incident. However, police cautioned that anyone should be wary about going to places with strangers where this is no one around.
Judge halts Wayne County foreclosures for remainder of 2021 over COVID-19
The move follows Treasurer Eric Sabree’s office filing a motion in Wayne County Circuit Court requesting that the redemption period on foreclosures be extended to March 31, 2022. County officials say there's been continued economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, Judge Timothy Kenny issued an order to keep the properties off the annual auction. All homeowners still must make property tax payments, Sabree said in a release.
About 2,400 owner-occupied homes, 4,100 non-owner occupied residential properties, and 178 occupied commercial properties in the county face foreclosure. A similar request was granted in March 2020 when Sabree asked that all properties in Wayne County be withheld from foreclosure.
- Courtesy of Associated Press
What else we're watching
- Michigan is getting a $15 million pilot program that expands Advanced Placement computer science courses. The Code.org plan is a partnership between Grand Valley State, MiSTEM Network, and College Board.
- A new study published by a University of Michigan researcher highlights the damage that semi-truck travel in Southwest Detroit is doing to resident's ears.
- Warren police are announcing Operation P.E.A.C.E and the results of an initiative executed by police to address drug use in the community
- The U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal is breaking ground on a new electrical substation Monday morning. The new operation is needed due to future energy requirements. It will cost $23 million to build.
- More than 700 Wayne State University professors, staff, and students are calling for the school to mandate vaccines ahead of the university's return to class next semester. Colleges all around Michigan are weighing how to approach vaccines on campus.
Live on FOX 2
A cold start to the week begins with a high of 57 degrees and some clouds Monday. Plan on temperatures slowly rising throughout the week.
Fauci predicts country will be 'as close to back to normal as we can' by next Mother's Day
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Sunday that America will be "as close to back to normal as we can" by next Mother’s Day if certain conditions are met.
Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the White House's chief medical adviser, made the prediction during ABC’s "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, who had asked him to "give everyone a sense of what the country is going to look like next Mother’s Day."
"I hope that next Mother’s Day, we’re going to see a dramatic difference than what we’re seeing right now. I believe that we will be about as close to back to normal as we can. And there are some conditions to that, George," Fauci said during the segment. "We’ve got to make sure that we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated."
When the majority of Americans are vaccinated, he said, COVID-19 "doesn't really have any place to go."