Real Reason Detroit Police Chief Leaves Carjacking: He’s Not a Cop

 Chief Craig when he was fighting for certification in Cincinnati (courtesy

“Police Chief James Craig was limited in what action he could have taken against a perceived carjacker because Detroit’s top cop isn’t certified as an officer,” reports. You hurt your what? “Craig is not certified as a police officer in Michigan, so he doesn’t have arrest powers beyond making a citizen’s arrest . . . As a retired officer, however, he is allowed to carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states, per the 2004 federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. Michigan doesn’t require certification for police chiefs.” So he had a gun but “A department spokesman said the chief drove away from the situation because no actual crime had been committed. Also, Craig is not certified as a police officer in Michigan, so he doesn’t have arrest powers beyond making a citizen’s arrest . . .

Although the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards sent Craig paperwork to become certified when he assumed command of Detroit’s Police Department in July, he hasn’t returned it, said Dave Harvey, the commission’s executive director.

This isn’t Chief Craig’s first non-rodeo . . .

When Craig became Cincinnati’s police chief in August 2011, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission waived most of the state’s requirements to become a certified officer, said Dan Tierney, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which oversees the training commission.

“Craig had applied for a wavier of the training requirements given his extensive experience prior to coming to Cincinnati,” Tierney said.

“He was granted an exemption for a vast majority of the requirements, given his previous experience. The head of the (training association) at the time said to his knowledge, no other officer had ever been granted more waivers than Chief Craig.

“The only things not waived were specifically related to Ohio law,” Tierney said. “Those courses covered things that someone not trained in Ohio wouldn’t be aware of. Craig asked to have the requirement that he take the test be waived, and the commission did not grant him that waiver, so he challenged that in court.”

Craig, the first chief in Cincinnati history to be hired from outside the department, argued the test was unfair to out-of-state chief candidates. He insisted his time in Cincinnati was better spent learning the community and how to deal with its crime problem than cramming for a test given to recruits after 582 hours of training — a position publicly supported by Cincinnati’s mayor and other city officials.

A cop who doesn’t like to take competency tests. Go figure. [h/t Dirk Diggler]


  1. avatar Nathan.B says:

    I wish I could say I’m surprised that a police chief doesn’t want to be bothered learning the laws he is expected to enforce. My police chief stated in a “gun violence” forum that Virginia has a gun registry.

    I just really hope he doesn’t try busting me for not having my guns registered, since, you know, that would be impossible. My attempts to contact the city (Mayor’s office, official police twitter, etc) went unnoticed.

    1. avatar jwestham says:

      Where in VA are you an officer? I just took the Chesterfield test yesterday and the richmond test a month or so ago.

  2. avatar Bob Wall says:

    So, will Laurence Fishburne play him in the non-action movie?

  3. avatar BillF says:

    Wow–five stars on each collar but not certified to make an arrest.

    1. avatar Bob Wall says:

      Makes me think of pics of Bob Hope on USO tour shows, with about 8-9 stars on each collar. Except Hope was funny, Chief Craig? Not so much.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Craig may not be funny, but he sure is comical.

        Then again, everything about Detroit these days is like a joke where the punchline is actually a punch. To the gonads.

    2. avatar SD3 says:

      Why not? “Motor City” is a gutted crack house. Today, everybody gets to be a general.

  4. avatar Andy says:

    Sounds just like chief Ramsey in Philly. Ramsey was in uniform and armed and was not certified in PA, and given that Ramsey was open carrying a firearm in Philly he was committing a crime. He was also committing a crime by wearing the uniform and identifying himself as being a police officer.

    Craig is the same guy who is on the University of Phoneix TV commercials. Then again, what do you expect from a guy that went to a diploma mill for profit school.

  5. avatar freakshowSMVM says:

    Funny thing, Michigan state police motor carrier officers(the so called cops all over the highways in SUV’s) are not certified cops either, except for traffic law and felonies(any MI citizen can do an arrest on a felony btw) they have no authority

    1. avatar Andy says:

      Except enforcing motor vehicle laws.

  6. avatar Pascal says:

    That is because “Police Chief” is more a political appointment these days rather one with serious qualifications. It is more management of budgets and doing what the Mayor wants than actually doing any community policing.– that is what they hire consultants for anyway.

    One more reason why government is a joke

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      If Police Chief or Chief of Police is a political appointment ( not arguing the fact), then they should NOT be walking the streets or polluting our video waves with pictures of them in full uniform pretending to be police officers if they are NOT.

      I was in the trucking industry (yes, I am a qualified CDL-A driver) for over ten years. LOTS of owners and managers of trucking companies are NOT drivers. Doesn’t matter if they actually know how to run the company, an awful lot of drivers have no clue how to do that. Point is, the non-driver management never even considers going out and pushing a truck down the road themselves.

      If a guy can run a police department well (seems a valid question these days) then it shouldn’t matter if he is a certified cop or not, so long as he doesn’t pretend that he is until the SHTF.

  7. avatar Martin B says:

    What’s a cop’s job anyway? To turn up after the damage is done, and spray innocent bystanders with as many stray rounds as possible? Better off staying in the coffee shop scoffing donuts. The drug gangs own the streets anyway.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Why would a back-bench politician need to be certified as a police officer?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Yeah, makes as much sense as the U.S. Surgeon General dressing up as a Navy Admiral. Go figure. I don’t see any political appointees parading around in Marine Corps General uniforms if they aren’t current or former Marines.

      1. avatar Bob Wall says:

        He/She’s not – They’re the head of the US Public Health Service.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          And the Class A uniform looks like it came from the Venezuelan Navy. Trick or treat?

    2. avatar Blue says:

      The same reason Attorney Generals are lawyers and members of the B.A.R.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      A great many of the problems in these cities would be lessened if real cops who came up through the department were selected to lead them, rather than political hacks.

  9. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Hey Dirk, if you see this maybe when your home for the holidays we can do some range time, Close Quarters Tactical has a nice range… 23 mile and Hayes…

    1. avatar dirk diggler says:

      I may be home for turkey . . . .

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        Damn, I will be in a tree waiting for the brown four leggers to walk by, depends on when your in area. Maybe if you’ll be home for a visit another time maybe RF can send you my email.

  10. avatar Hryan says:

    I was exceptionally happy when he left Cincinnati.

  11. avatar Geoff says:

    Oh, yeah. He’s the one that did those TV commercials for the Diploma mill Phoenix University, that has no campus or classrooms.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      They have a small campus with classrooms about 5 miles north of my office.

    2. avatar Angry AZ says:

      at least they aren’t Berkeley!! live down the road from their phoenix offices and let me tell you how much nicer that is then when I worked just outside of Berkeley I start steaming just thinking about all those dirty communists and occupy hippies

      1. avatar LongBeach says:

        Went up there with my college roommate one time, just out of curiosity. I have never hated any place I’ve visited even half as much as I hated Berkeley. The campus and surrounding area are the “utopia” that liberals wish to create nationwide; a listless, limp-wristed excuse for a city with no backbone whatsoever. If that even comes close to happening we are completely f*cked.

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    Police chiefs of major metro areas are administrators and politicians, they do not go out arresting people or investigating crimes. As such, there is no reason for them to be LEOs–but if they are not they should wear suits and be subject to the same carry rules as any other citizen in the same jurisdiction.

    Gee, that reminds me. The Sheriff of San Francisco County Ross Mirkarimi is not a LEO either, and not authorized to carry a firearm AT ALL under California law unless he qualifies for a CCW/CHL. Which would be pretty hypocritical since he is as rabidly anti-CCW as his predecessor. (He is a former City Supervisor who ran for the job.) [As of the last time the state published statistics in September 2011 there were no CCWs issued for San Francisco, so this may have changed over the last two years.]

    1. avatar dirk diggler says:

      and he was arrested for domestic violence . . . . but DiFi was remarkably silent after he pimp slapped his old lady a few times.

    2. avatar Rick says:

      Along those same lines, a few years ago, SFO Chief of Police Heather Fong caught some grief because she wasn’t keeping her pistol quals current.

  13. avatar Defens says:

    Does really matter, Detroit isn’t really a city either. More of like a lawless dystopian post-Apocalypto movie set.

    1. avatar dirk diggler says:

      a famous Detroit-based political consultant named Sam Riddle (who went to jail as part of the bribery of former City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, wife of House Judiciary ranking member John Conyers), said once “Detroit is like Mogadishu, but without the goats.”

      1. avatar WarsawPactHeat says:

        We apparently have sheep, not goats.

        This happened last week at a body shop just off Eight Mile:

        1. avatar dirk diggler says:

          detroit city clowncil actually has suggested goats to help with the grass

        2. avatar Al says:

          Detroit is huge geographically but small in population. As a result, entire neighborhoods have been bulldozed and there’s actually quite a bit of urban farming taking place. So farm animals in the city isn’t unusual. It’s actually a good thing, IMO. Detroiters taking the city back one block at a time. There’s a lot of this kind of anarcho-capitalism going on. Government is so inept that the people just ignore it and start up small businesses without permits. Lots of produce stands, small shops, etc. springing up. The locavore movement is big in Detroit. In part because there are very few chain grocery stores (like Kroger) in the city.

          Police and EMS response times are so long (if they show up at all) that more people are taking on the responsibility for themselves. Things like keeping the local parks mowed and in service is being done by neighborhood inhabitants instead of the city. A lot of volunteerism. People watching out for their neighbors. Not all bad stuff going on, although I’d never live in the city due to the existing crime, astronomical tax rates and other problems. Detroit WILL re-invent itself and it will be by the effort of the people, not the government.

  14. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    So does that mean the Chief has to have a concealed handgun carry license to carry concealed?

    1. avatar dirk diggler says:

      it is illegal in michigan to carry a concealed weapon on your person in a vehicle without a permit. so, the real question is, did Chief Craig have a heater on his person without a CCW?

      1. avatar Blue says:

        Not only that, since he isn’t a sworn officer, isn’t wearing a uniform, badge and driving a police car “impersonating” and officer?

  15. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    The Charlotte, NC top cop had an issue when it was uncertain that he had completed the requirements for the college degree listed on his resume. Seems that these sorts of issues are rather commonplace in the profession.

  16. avatar Angry AZ says:

    the local citizens might be safer seeing that he didn’t try to Help them….

  17. avatar Jay1987 says:

    Am I the only one that finds the top cops need not be cops rule completely and utterly stupid??

    1. avatar Mark N. says:


  18. avatar Rick says:

    Yep, he left the job as police chief of Cincinnati because he refused to take the test to be certified in Ohio, which apparently is required.

  19. avatar Merits says:

    Hmm. Sounds like the chief became chief much like our president did.

  20. avatar Blue says:

    This guy is just a punk and a coward. How can a non-sworn officer supervise rank and file?

  21. avatar jirdesteva says:

    This is a POLITICIAN he should ware a suit and stop posing as a police officer. Or he should be arrested for pretending to be a police officer.

  22. avatar rlc2 says:

    He’s not trained, he’s not certified, yet he is wearing the uniform.
    If this were any other person they’d be arrested for impersonating an officer.

    Detroit is looking like a typical third-world country- typical tin-pot dictators in drag.

  23. avatar ggrimes2 says:

    Maybe Detroit should issue the cops chevy volt’s as police cars then, just like their leader they could be all show and no go and a true representative of the community.

  24. avatar ggrimes2 says:

    Great Halloween costume maybe he is just checking out the look before going out for trick or treat?
    Living in the wild wild west of New Mexico most of the LEO’s I know consider this an insult. The major percentage are honest hard working cops; this is an insult to both their profession and the public which pays their salary. I’d say fire both the chief and the mayor. If you’ve never walked a beat or spent time in a patrol car you’re not qualified too run a department.

  25. avatar vioshi says:

    I always assumed the only arrest powers were “citizen arrest” but that we gave peace officers great deal of leeway. Am I wrong?

  26. avatar Federale says:

    Typical of the black police chief’s circuit. They get affirmative action hiring as chiefs, go from city to city, have no impact on crime, then on the strength of their resume, get hired by the next department, leaving a city with no improvement in public safety, but the local politicians can say they hired an affirmative action police chief.

  27. avatar William Johnson says:

    Wow! Detroit’s top Cop not a real Cop. Why don’t he wanna take his test’s. My Mom had to take hers for Wayne Co. She was a mere Corporal.?. What’s UP with that!

  28. avatar William Johnson says:

    Better get wit Craig Bro!

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