James Craig begins new job as Detroit's police chief - KMSP-TV

James Craig begins new job as Detroit's police chief

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Monday marks the first day on the job for Detroit's new Police Chief James Craig. Sunday, he joined us in the studio for Let It Rip Weekend. He tells us change is coming when it comes to fighting crime.

Click on the video player to watch Robin Schwartz's report.

Incoming Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he's ready to hit the ground running. For those who may question his $225,000 a year salary, in a city that's broke - he says the compensation is not excessive.

"This is one of the most violent cities right now in America," Craig told Fox 2. "We will change that - you can't put a cost on it. I don't know what the CEO of General Motors makes but if you ask any resident of the city of Detroit what's most important? Violence - reducing it - eliminating it."

So how does he plan to do that? Craig says he'll start by boosting morale. On day one he says he'll be meeting members of the community and he'll meet face-to-face with officers.

"I'm gonna talk to the rank and file because the rank and file count. Cops count. Leadership matters," he said.

His other top priority of course is reducing crime. Craig started out as a Detroit Police officer in 1977. He then spent 28 years with the LAPD. He was also police chief in Maine and Cincinnati. But, Detroit is home, the place he grew up and he says he's coming back to make a difference.

"When you look at any city and you look at violence in any city in America, there's only a small number of people that are perpetrating the violence," Craig says. "We to need, in a laser-like way, a very strategic way, identify those people and take them out of the equation. That will happen."

Craig will report directly to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. He's also said he plans to use citizens to help fight crime.

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