Mayor Duggan announces James E. White as his selection for permanent Detroit Police Chief

Chief of Police James E. White

Mayor Duggan announces James E. White as his selection for permanent Detroit Police Chief

DETROIT - Mayor Mike Duggan today announced James E. White as his selection for permanent Chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department. Chief White has served as Interim Chief since June 1st of this year. “Anyone in the city who has watched the way James White has handled himself in the last two months feels very good about where the Detroit police department is headed,” said Mayor Duggan. “I have been extremely pleased, I think you’re seeing more police presence, we are seeing the violence starting to become curbed, we are seeing a police chief who supports the men and women of the department when they act appropriately, but also doesn’t hesitate to say we’re going to have high standards when a particular officer does not.”

Chief White said he is extremely honored and humbled to have been nominated. He thanked the community for their continued support. “Our community deserves excellence in policing,” said White. “We’re experiencing a 20% reduction for non-fatal and fatal shooting and are on the right path to eradicating some of the violence we’re seeing.”

The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners was tasked with sending Mayor Duggan three final candidates for police chief. Chairman of the BOPC, Reverend Jim Holley, said, “I want to say to you, all three of them were outstanding candidates. I’m sure I can tell you on behalf of the police commissioners, the majority if not all of the police commissioners are satisfied.”

“You can tell what’s in a person’s heart. Coming from the Detroit Police Department, it’s very important that when you have someone who has come up through the ranks, someone the people know and the people love and the people understand,” said Detroit City Councilman Roy McCalister, Jr. McCalister thanked the Detroit BOPC and Mayor Duggan for their leadership on the selection of Chief White.

Mark Young, President of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association said, “One of the things I love about you, Chief, is that you understand people, you understand culture, and you understand how policing is changing with technology, it’s crucial.”

“We can respect the police and the police can respect the community,” said Dr. Reverend Wendell B. Anthony. “Chief White has demonstrated himself to be transparent by recent events and you need to be transparent when it comes to the community. That’s how you build trust, that’s how you build relationships.”

James E. White, born and raised in Detroit, is a 24-year veteran at the Detroit Police Department. He served as Assistant Chief since 2012 and in leadership positions for most of his tenure. White led the Detroit Police Department’s efforts to be released from two-decade-long federal consent agreements, which required the implementation of policies, training, and processes to protect the constitutional rights of citizens DPD officers engage or detain.

A firm believer in departmental diversity and inclusion, White also established a Civilian Advisory Committee to help bridge the gap between civilians and sworn members within the department. He also worked to ensure that returning citizens had opportunities for employment within the Detroit Police Department in certain non-sworn capacities.

White left DPD in August 2020 when he was named Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and served as a member of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet. White was tapped for that role because of his track record of civil rights leadership at DPD.

White, who is a state-licensed mental health counselor, has stated his commitment to look after the well-being of officers on the force who face difficult daily challenges.