By Gina Damron
Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced sweeping changes to his administrative staff during a news conference Tuesday.
The appointments, he said, represent completion of phase two of his restructuring plan and will save the city roughly $1 million a year in salaries.
He said the number of deputy chiefs was reduced from six to three and the number of commanders from 17 to nine. He said the rank of captain replaces the rank of inspector. There are now 23 captains, Craig said.
"I was advised coming in the door, the Detroit Police Department was broken," Craig said, adding that the thought was that new, outside candidates would have to be brought in. He said he was quickly convinced, though, that the right people already were here. "The talent resided right here."
Craig previously announced the appointment of Eric Jones to assistant chief, joining Assistant Chief James White. The newly appointed deputy chiefs are Vicki Yost, an 18-year veteran assigned to the patrol operations bureau; David LeValley, an 18-year veteran assigned to the criminal investigations bureau; and Lashinda Houser, a 17-year veteran assigned to the support services bureau.
Also announced Tuesday were appointments of commanding officers over precincts and other areas, including homicide, the central business district, investigative operations, training organized crime and major crime, were also announced.
Craig previously announced that officers were moving back to shorter work shifts.
Craig said he believes the changes will boost morale. He said some of those promoted may not have been able to rise under previous administrations.
"This is the all-star team," he said. "This is the team that will get it done."
The announcements come at a time when Detroit was recently ranked one of the deadliest large cities in the country, according to FBI crime statistics. The city's homicide rate in 2012 was 54.6 homicides per 100,000 residents.
"To the folks that want to be violent predators in our community, leave Detroit," Craig said. "You're not welcome here."
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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