Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief and Gubernatorial Hopeful Craig Appoints Team to Generate Anti-Crime Solutions


Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief James Craig, a Republican who is exploring a run for governor, announced Monday the formation of his Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT), an advisory panel to craft legislation to strengthen public safety.

The group is made up of lawmakers and law-enforcement officials, including two Democrats: Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham and Gladwin County Sheriff Mike Shea.

“I am appointing Republicans and Democrats in law enforcement to join LEAT in a historic bi-partisan strategy to solve the public safety crisis facing our state,” Craig said in a statement. “I want to thank Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham and Gladwin County Sheriff Mike Shea for putting the safety of their communities and our state before partisanship. I appreciate their support, wise counsel, and leadership.”

In a video released as a part of the announcement of the effort, Craig explained his actions to quell unrest at an apartment complex called The Colony Arms. “We stormed that building, arrested 20-30 people who were a plague on our community, and sent a message.”

GOP members of the panel include state House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare), former state House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt), state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte), Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy, Luce County Sheriff John Cischke and Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker. Craig said he expects other public officials to join the panel in the months ahead.

Craig plans for LEAT to consult local law-enforcement professionals across the state about the threats facing their respective regions, call attention to any public-safety concerns that come about, and start a petition at whereon voters can express their support for police. Their initial meeting will be on August 23rd, after which they anticipate publicizing their legislative proposals.

While Craig has welcomed pro-law-enforcement Democrats to his team, he has reiterated his lack of confidence in the members of that party who currently oversee public safety statewide. 

“The Governor [Gretchen Whitmer (D)] and Attorney General [Dana Nessel (D)] are focused on settling political scores rather than keeping our communities safe,” Craig said. “They investigate their political opponents time and time again, but refuse to investigate the nursing home policies that cost thousands of lives.”

The former police chief also rebuked some local officials like Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon, who last month announced she would deliberately issue fewer charges for a number of offenses via traffic stops, including illegal-firearms possession, that black people have disproportionately received.

“Some county prosecutors are refusing to enforce our laws, refusing to hold criminals accountable, and putting our communities at risk …” Craig said. “The courts are letting criminals back on the streets, attempts at bail reform are failing our communities, and some legislators are continuing the defund the police movement by supporting an end to qualified immunity. They don’t want police to be able to police.”

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Bradley Vasoli is a reporter at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].



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