LANSING — Yesterday, the Michigan Democratic Party filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine whether uncertified Chief of Police James Craig was acting illegally during his tenure as chief of police and conducting law enforcement activities without the certification to do so. Those that have not completed their Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards are not authorized to conduct basic policing duties including making arrests, serving warrants, and issuing citations.
Upon becoming chief in 2013, Craig declared his intent to complete “the process to become a fully [Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standard] certified law enforcement officer.”
Now the Detroit Dodger has changed his story. In a new piece from The Detroit News, Craig is now claiming that he “just didn’t see the need to take a test that’s meant for recruits coming out of the Police Academy” as he originally pledged to do, only to fail to meet it for all 8 years he spent as DPD chief.
He also claimed that he never engaged in any law enforcement activities but was deputized by a sheriff to “take police action if I chose to” and would “roll up on scenes to support my officers.”
Here’s five key questions that Craig needs to answer:
- How can James Craig claim he led from the front if he never took a single law enforcement action in 8 years?
- If the MCOLES certification is only necessary for people coming out of police academy then why did James Craig affirm its importance and boast about his commitment to receiving it in 2013?
- Why did James Craig go back on his own pledge to complete the certification process?
- Does James Craig think Michigan law enforcement standards should be relaxed across the board so that Detroit officers may also pursue the same deputization workaround he did?
- As chief of police in a city as large as Detroit who also claimed to attend active crime scenes across his 8 years in the role, what did that “support” entail then if not additional law enforcement actions as a situation may have required?
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“Every dodge James Craig employs on why he failed to complete his certification after boasting that he would raises a new round of questions. The bottom line is that hiding behind workarounds and excuses isn’t leading from the front. Michiganders deserve a leader who keeps their word, and James Craig has already shown them that he won’t.”