When Detroit’s new police chief, James Craig, took over on July 1 last year he made a strong declaration that crime was going to go down on his watch:
No longer will we stand idly by as criminals run rampant and the good citizens are held captive in their own homes.
Gone are the days that a citizen calls 911 and there is no response. Gone are the days that a citizen comes to a precinct only to find that the doors are locked.
We have taken an oath to protect our citizens and protect them is what we will do.
Six months later Craig reported that criminal homicides had dropped 14 percent from the previous year and that violent crime dropped 7 percent overall. This included decreases in aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, carjackings, burglaries, and stolen vehicles.
When interviewed on Detroit’s WJR radio station last week, Craig was asked by host Paul Smith about any instances in Detroit of the “knockout game,” as are being reported elsewhere. Craig responded:
I think folks — the people who would engage in that foolishness — probably know that there are a number of CPL (Concealed Pistol License) holders running around the streets of Detroit. [They] probably [conclude that that’s] not a real good idea.
When a surprised Smith pressed him on the CPL issue, Craig added:
I think it’s a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction, too.
I learned that very quickly in the state of Maine [where there are] a lot of CPL holders.
Craig started his law-enforcement career in Detroit as a beat cop back in January 1977 before moving to the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) in 1981, where he spent the next 28 years working his way up the ladder. He became Portland, Maine’s chief of police in 2009, moved to Cincinnati in 2011 to take a similar position there, and then in July returned to Detroit as police chief.
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Photo of Detroit