DPD Chief James Craig not a certified police officer - FOX 35 News Orlando

DPD Chief James Craig not a certified police officer

Posted: Updated:

"One suspect jumped out and began running towards me." That's how Detroit Police Chief James Craig recalls an incident this past week in which he believes he was almost carjacked. "As soon as I saw the suspect running up to the car I just accelerated out of harm's way. Then, candidly, I got angry. I got angry, I just can't believe what just was about to happen. So here I'm fighting carjacking ... and I'm gonna get carjacked," he laughs.

But some people are critical, asking why didn't the chief pursue and arrest the men?

One answer that's coming out now is that the chief is not a police officer - he does not have police officer certification. He did back in the day with DPD when he started his career, but that certification has since lapsed.

"You don't want a police chief that when you come up to him, and need someone arrested or some help, say, 'I'm sorry I can't do it,'" says David Malhalab. He is a retired sergeant who served DPD for 23 years. He believes a police chief should be certified. "This is a city with one of the most violent crime statistics in the nation, and you want your police chief to be certified; you want him to be able to make arrests; you want him to be able to carry a gun."

The Detroit city charter does not require, or mandate, that the chief be a certified police officer. The Detroit board of police commissioners interviewed Craig before he was hired. Board member Jessica Taylor tell Fox 2's Ron Savage the board knew he was not a certified officer.

Detroit has had several chiefs who were not certified officers over the years, such as Chief Jerry Oliver. He took the state test and failed.

Craig was certified after he graduated from the Detroit Police Academy, but when he moved out of state the certification expired.

Malhalab says the chief should make it a priority to renew his certification, and he points out the attempted carjacking as an example. "If he thought he was the subject of a carjacking, if he wasn't in a position where he was safe then he should've gotten [in] one and then called for backup. I mean, he's the chief of police. Every police officer in the city would've responded from every far corners of the city if the chief called for help," Malhalab says.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr hired Craig.

Orr's office released this statement:

"Chief Craig is a decorated law enforcement officer with more than 30 years on the job. He's completely qualified to be chief in Detroit."
-Bill Nowling, a spokesperson for Kevyn Orr

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Menards customer killed by falling tiles

    Menards customer killed by falling tiles

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:10:18 GMT
    Chesterfield Township police say a customer died Saturday after a pallet of ceramic tiles fell on top of him. The victim is identified as Richard V. Colletti, 38, of Clinton Township.
    Chesterfield Township police say a customer died Saturday after a pallet of ceramic tiles fell on top of him. The victim is identified as Richard V. Colletti, 38, of Clinton Township.
  • Search continues for murdered mother's missing children

    Search continues for murdered mother's missing children

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:58:26 GMT
    It's been three months and the search continues for two missing children after their mother was found murdered.
    It's been three months and the search continues for two missing children after their mother was found murdered.
  • Flood victims get cleanup help from volunteers

    Flood victims get cleanup help from volunteers

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:30 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:30:55 GMT
    It's been three weeks since historic floods submerged roads and highways and damaged thousands of homes and businesses across Metro Detroit. Saturday, volunteers came together to lend a helping hand.
    It's been three weeks since historic floods submerged roads and highways and damaged thousands of homes and businesses across Metro Detroit. Saturday, volunteers came together to lend a helping hand.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Ron SavageRon SavageMore>>

  • Three sisters mourn murdered father as police search for killer

    Three sisters mourn murdered father as police search for killer

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:15 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:15:35 GMT
    Starting a new school year is stressful enough, but now Keanya Farrell, 9, her 10-year-old sister Khloee and 18-year-old sister Lexus are all faced with life without their father."I'm heartbroken," Keanya said. "It's like my heart is in a billion pieces."
    Starting a new school year is stressful enough, but now Keanya Farrell, 9, her 10-year-old sister Khloee and 18-year-old sister Lexus are all faced with life without their father."I'm heartbroken," Keanya said. "It's like my heart is in a billion pieces."
  • Two children injured in fall from Ferris wheel at fair

    Two children injured in fall from Ferris wheel at fair

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:47 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:47:08 GMT
    Two children were injured when they fell from a ferris wheel at the Chelsea Community Fair.
    Two children were injured when they fell from a ferris wheel at the Chelsea Community Fair.
  • Armed man who threatened women outside Ferndale library identified

    Armed man who threatened women outside Ferndale library identified

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:05:22 GMT
    Police have arrested a man with a gun after, they say, he threatened three women in the parking lot of the Ferndale Library.
    Police have arrested a man with a gun after, they say, he threatened three women in the parking lot of the Ferndale Library.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices