James Craig

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit's police chief says his department needs stun guns, especially after an officer was attacked with a razor blade.

  Chief James Craig tells The Detroit News that he's talked to the mayor about purchasing Tasers. He acknowledges they're controversial and is open to a public discussion about their use.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

DETROIT – Detroit's police chief says a death threat against him on a social media site shows that his department's crackdown on drug trafficking is cutting into the profits of criminals.

James Craig held a news conference Sunday to discuss the threat uncovered Friday. He declines to say where the threat was posted but says it included a photo of a handgun.

The police chief says his department has conducted five large-scale drug sweeps since July as well as an average of 35 drug house raids each week.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Chief James Craig has placed a 10-percent drop in overall crime, 5-minute response time for priority calls to 911 and more solved homicides among this year's goals for Detroit's police force.

Craig released his 2014 Plan of Action on Thursday and is making it available to residents on the city's website.

The department also will hire 150 new officers by mid-year and deploy detectives in each of the city's 12 police precincts.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s crime rate fell slightly in 2013, according to data released by the city’s police department Thursday.

Detroit recorded 333 criminal homicides last year, down from 386 in 2012.

Non-fatal shootings also declined, though there were still well over 1,100 of them.

Overall, violent crime declined by 7%, and property crime was down by the same amount.

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Detroit Police Department prepares for big changes

Detroit Police Chief James Craig intends to introduce a large departmental reorganization, reports Michigan Radio’s Sara Cwiek.  Craig announced last week that he will restore a version of the department’s gang squad.  Many administrative jobs will be filled by civilians so that more officers can return to field work.

CDC says obesity down among Michigan children

According to a new Center for Disease Control study fewer Michigan children qualify as obese.  Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reports that the obesity rate among low-income preschool children dropped from 13.9% in 2008 to 13.2% in 2011.  Michigan ranks fifth in the nation for obesity rates.

Michigan Supreme Court returns custody to foster family

The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered that four children be returned to their foster family, reports Michigan Radio’s Rick Pluta.  Custody was awarded to their grandmother last year by the Michigan Court of Appeals because state law gives automatic preference to relatives when parental rights are terminated.  The Supreme Court said that the children should be returned to the foster family until it makes a decision whether to hear the appeal.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

“We will get this done,” James Craig, Detroit’s new police chief, told officers at the 10th precinct during roll call Monday.

Craig, during his first day on the job, promised officers that he would start “treating police like adults.” And he vowed to make Detroit “one of the safest major cities in America.”

“You can’t have a safe city if you don’t take care of the cops,” Craig said.  “And I’m going to take care of the cops.”

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Common Core debate continues in committee

State lawmakers have formed a special committee to debate the merits of the Common Core Standards Initiative. The state Legislature blocked the state from implementing the school standards last month. Lawmakers said they needed more time to review Common Core before letting it take full effect in Michigan.

Detroit's new police chief begins first day on the job

Detroit’s new police chief, James Craig, will report to work for the first time today. Craig, a native Detroiter, returns to the city from Cincinnati where he was named police chief in 2011. Craig said some of his top goals include raising department morale and putting more civilians in positions that had been held by officers.

Teen unemployment rate more than double the state’s overall rate

State labor officials say a quarter of Michigan teens who want a job can’t find one this summer. State and local officials say limits on federal grants intended to promote youth employment are partly to blame. 

“Michael Finney, president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, says he would like to do more to improve the teen job picture in cities like Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, and Saginaw as a way to reduce crime,” Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reports.

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Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr named former Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig as Detroit's new Chief of Police.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett attended the press conference, where Orr announced that Craig will begin July 1, 2013:

The new police chief of Michigan's largest city says he's committed to reducing violence and making the Detroit Police Department a premier police agency.

This announcement followed the plan that Orr outlined in his 45-day report on Detroit's economic status. 

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Controversy of Medicaid reform is being debated

A bill is being debated in the Michigan house to reform Medicaid in the state.

"The federal government is offering to pay for an expansion of Medicaid that would add hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to the program. But Republican leaders in the state Legislature say they're not willing to expand the system without major changes." Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.

Michigan projected to get $542 million more than expected

The state of Michigan is projected to get nearly half a billion dollars more than expected in revenue.

"The state’s economic measurements remain mixed. Michigan still has one of the nation’s highest jobless rates. But Governor Snyder says improving revenue is evidence of confidence in the state’s economy," Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta reports.

The governor has suggested using the surplus to draw down federal transportation dollars, or cover a Medicaid shortfall.

Changes are imminent in Detroit

As of yesterday, Mayor Dave Bing will not be running for re-election, James Craig has been appointed Detroit Chief of Police, and more than half the incumbents on the Detroit City Council will not be seeking another term. The general elections will be held on November 5th. The Detroit News has more.