Detroit, MI – Chief James Craig today announced bi-partisan support from law enforcement officials across Michigan, formation of LEAT, and five steps he was taking to resolve the public safety crisis.
He released the following statement and video:
“When I was first hired as Detroit Police Chief my top priority was to send a message to criminals that their activities would no longer be tolerated. We showed strength, and held them accountable. We started with Colony Arms. We stormed that building, arrested 20-30 people who were a plague on our community, and sent a message. Yes, we even invited the cameras. I was part of the first team that made entry into the building that day, and showed our police department and our community what it meant to lead from the front. The message to Southeast Michigan was loud and clear – the Detroit Police Department was back and stronger than ever.”
“Now we need to lead from the front and implement a similar strategy with new public policy that will solve the public safety crisis in our state. Liberal politicians at the national, state, and local level are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
Washington politicians encourage rioting in our cities. Maxine Waters calls for increased confrontation.
The Governor and Attorney General are focused on settling political scores rather than keeping our communities safe. They investigate their political opponents time and time again, but refuse to investigate the nursing home policies that cost thousands of lives.
Some County Prosecutors are refusing to enforce our laws, refusing to hold criminals accountable, and putting our communities at risk. It may start in Ingham County and Washtenaw County but criminals don’t stop at the county line, and their actions are a danger to all of us.
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.
By not denouncing the anti-police movement, they are creating a crisis in police departments. Police officers are retiring, resigning, and can’t be replaced by new hires. The pool of potential police officers is quickly diminishing, with no end in sight.
The end result? Rising crime across the state as a direct result of failed policies by politicians.
We need leadership that understands the severity of the problem, and how to resolve it. We can’t wait until election year. We must begin now.
I’m immediately taking the following five steps to lead from the front in resolving the public safety crisis on a bi-partisan basis.
LEAT Formation – Appoint a team of experts as a Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT) to write new laws that strengthen law enforcement across this state, while working together with local community leaders. LEAT will immediately begin Zoom meetings with local law enforcement across the state of Michigan, the first being August 23rd.
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. 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.
I also want to thank Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy, Luce County Sheriff John Cischke, Speaker Jason Wentworth, former Speaker Tom Leonard, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker, and Senator Tom Barrett for joining our Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT). We are reaching out to local law enforcement leaders across the state and will add additional supporters to LEAT in the leadup to our first meeting on August 23rd.
Local Inclusion – Survey law enforcement officials to communicate candidly, and anonymously if necessary, about the problems they are facing in their communities and ideas for assistance. Invite local law enforcement leaders to participate in LEAT meetings virtually.
We will encourage local law enforcement leaders who want to join LEAT to contact us prior to our August 23rd meeting. We will have local participation virtually and also release a detailed survey for responses to gather ideas and information. We will give the option of responding anonymously or with their name so that they can speak candidly of the challenges they face with local and Lansing politicians. The opinions of these local law enforcement leaders will be taken into account as we draft new legislation.
Energize Elected Officials – Demonstrate the amount of support for law enforcement among voters to elected officials in Lansing and Washington D.C.
We will immediately launch a petition at BackMIBlue.com urging Michigan voters to show their support for law enforcement. Political leaders will hear from the public loud and clear that we must FUND the police.
Bully Pulpit – Utilize the bully pulpit to bring attention to crime issues as they arise, and hold rogue prosecutors accountable who are a danger to their community and neighboring counties.
We will travel across this great state in September holding Back MI Blue events to demonstrate strong support for police, and challenge those rogue county prosecutors who refuse to uphold the law.
Citizen Protection – Support and expand the right of law abiding citizens to protect themselves, while holding criminals accountable.
We will expand the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, while getting dangerous criminals off the streets.
I want to thank our Law Enforcement Action Team members – both Republicans and Democrats – and consider advice from local law enforcement leaders as we develop the policies and legislation that LEAT will release this Fall.
These policies will strengthen law enforcement with better recruitment of officers, increase retention, and protect them in the line of duty. We will demonstrate support for our officers from the bully pulpit, and never back down in the face of woke protest or rogue prosecutors.
Leading From the Front means being proactive to solve critical problems, and there is no issue more important than the safety of our families and communities.”
LEAT Members released the following statements:
Gladwin County Sheriff Mike Shea (D)
“Chief James Craig is a phenomenal national leader in policing and is the right person at the right time to bring law enforcement from across the state together on a bi-partisan basis to solve the problem of rising crime. He understands that law enforcement isn’t about Republicans vs Democrats; it’s about fighting crime and holding criminals accountable. I am proud to join his Law Enforcement Action Team and even prouder to support him.”
Sheriff Anthony M. Wickersham (D)
“Chief James Craig is a man of the utmost integrity. His strong leadership as Chief of Police to the City of Detroit energized the department and led to stronger relationships between police and the community. I am proud to serve on the Chief’s Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT) and I support Chief Craig because he’ll always put people before politics.”
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker
“I am pleased to serve on the Law Enforcement Action Team because Michigan is in need of an inclusive statewide strategy to reduce crime. I am proud to support Chief Craig and thank him for moving so quickly in providing the innovative leadership that is necessary to help our communities in West Michigan and across the state.”
State Senator Tom Barrett
“Chief James Craig kept the peace in the city of Detroit as other cities burned during the riots of 2020. I understand the importance of strong leadership in law enforcement. In my 21 years in the Army, I have relied on strong leaders to have my back, especially when I served as a Block Sergeant in Guantanamo Bay. I’m proud to serve on his Law Enforcement Action Team and look forward to passing legislation to strengthen the men and women in police uniform.”
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard
“We need political leaders in Lansing and Washington who bring the focus back to supporting the men and women in uniform and the hard work they do to keep our communities safe. I am happy to help my friend Chief Craig and proud to support efforts to solve this public safety crisis.”
Luce County Sheriff John Cischke
“The Upper Peninsula is not immune to public safety concerns, and it’s imperative we have law enforcement leaders at the table as we discuss the future of legislation and policy to keep our communities safe. Chief Craig has lived a life of service and I’m grateful he has afforded me the opportunity to assist on behalf of the men and women in uniform in the U.P.”
Former Speaker (and Assistant Prosecutor) Tom Leonard
“The public safety problem in Michigan starts at the top. We need an Attorney General who spends more time fighting crime and less time giving cover to radical liberals who refuse to enforce our laws at the local level. We need to hold elected officials who refuse to do their jobs accountable.”
Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy
“Chief Craig understands that a failure by law enforcement in one community impacts neighboring communities. His leadership is inclusive: bringing together law enforcement from counties across our state who will all work together to solve this crisis.”
Speaker Jason Wentworth
“I look forward to supporting Chief Craig and his Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT) in working with state legislators across Michigan in crafting the necessary legislation to keep our communities safe. This is an unprecedented effort to bring together local law enforcement with legislative leaders and resolve the public safety crisis that has resulted from divisive liberal policies and rhetoric.”