Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday that he wants to play a “much larger role” in public service and reacted positively when told it would “be a good thing” if he ran for the governor’s office in Michigan after his retirement this year.
“I work for the people,” Craig told Fox News host Lawrence Jones. “So it’s an emotional day for me because I won’t be wearing the badge but I’ll tell you what, I will continue to be in public service. That’s important for me but I feel like I need to take a much larger role.” (RELATED: Detroit Police Chief Says His City ‘Wouldn’t Stand For’ A Seattle-Style Autonomous Zone)
The veteran police officer said he was “really thinking about the future” and promised to “make a decision and announce what my next step will be.”
“What if the chief says he will run for governor?” Jones asked a bystander.
“That will be a good thing,” the man responded.
“OK. I appreciate that,” said Craig.
Craig told viewers that he has been a police officer for 44 years and that he began and is ending his career in Detroit. Pointing to a block in downtown Detroit, he said it was “an iconic location. Shootings, stabbings, prosecution, drug dealing, everything that could happen. And the good people that live in this building didn’t feel safe.”
He said he vowed to tackle the crime because the citizens said they were “not putting up this with this blatant criminal activity. We’re taking Detroit back.” He said the police presence resulted in citizens “leaning out of these windows clapping. The people were celebrating.”
Craig also ripped “defund the police” proponents.
“When you hear comments like ‘dismantle, defund the police,’ are they talking to these folks on this block? No, no, no,” he said, adding that he thought residents “want effective policing, Constitutional and ethical policing. That’s what they want.”
The police chief claimed that the “defund the police” movement is about a desire “to undermine government as we know it.”
“I don’t like broad brushes you can’t paint every police department the same. You can’t just say the entire profession is corrupt.” (RELATED: ‘We Sent A Message’: Police Departments ‘Weren’t Going To Tolerate Looting And Burning Buildings,’ Says Detroit Chief)
Craig said effective policing is about anticipating problems and effectively communicating with people. “We worked with our local activists. We have relationships. We may not always agree but at the end of the day, [they say], ‘He stood with us.'”
Craig has often butted heads with Detroit-area Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and the chief recently told her to resign from her office.
Detroit is suing Black Lives Matter (BLM) because the city says the group “endangered the lives” of police officers and the public.
During the summer unrest, Craig oversaw the arrest of a 20-year-old male who was charged with assaulting an elderly nursing home resident.