No longer under federal oversight, Detroit police promise changes

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The Detroit Police Department is finally standing on its own following more than a decade of federal oversight.

On Thursday Chief James Craig is promising some big changes during DPD's commission meeting.

"Very excited about these appointments today," Craig said. "And this new evolution as we're going forward."

After feeling the pain of the city's bankruptcy, on Thursday, Craig announced new hires, a dozen promotions and a reorganized police department.

"It's not just everything on one person," said Cmdr. Timothy Leach. "You have more of a team factor. It just gives us a better way to work with each other."

Many newly appointed Detroit police commanders are calling the old model of the department fragmented.

Among the changes, Craig is now appointing a captain and a commander at each precinct, mimicking mini police departments.

"This is to reinforce the importance of what I am calling the ideal neighborhood precinct," Craig said.

"If you have a commander and a captain in each precinct, we are going to be more accessible to the public to be able to be there more than we were before."

Showing the restructured department, Craig says his focus remains on the city's neighborhoods which often felt neglected with a history of slow police response.

Craig is also addressing major issues of diversity and recruitment.

"The big issue is the anti-police rhetoric that is going on today," Craig said. "Especially individuals from the minority communities who are no longer interested in a career in law enforcement."

Gathering feedback from the community, union leaders and fellow police officers, Craig says while there is much needed work ahead he believes this is the start of a department to better serve its community.

"If you didn't have hope before with the changes," said Aric Tosqui, president of the DPD command officers association. "This is more progress showing that the neighborhoods are first."