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Detroit's police chief tests positive for COVID-19

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City of Detroit
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City of Detroit

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has tested positive for COVID-19. Craig joins more than 3 dozen members of the department testing positive for the disease.  

Mayor Mike Duggan says the chief’s case is mild.  

“He is very fit. He’s got mild symptoms. And he is very much in charge running this department. I think I’ve talk to him ten times today,” Duggan told reporters Friday, “But he is not going to be back on site until he fully recovers.”

Assistant Chief James White will oversee the department’s day to day operations in Craig’s absence.

“Chief James Craig is still in charge of this department,” says White, “The chief and I speak daily.  And recently that’s gone to hourly. And a few days ago it felt like every minute.

The COVID-19 outbreak has exploded in Detroit in past week. Michigan’s largest city has more than a thousand residents testing positive for the coronavirus. 23 people have died, including two members of the Detroit police department.

More than 400 officers remain on quarantine. Asst. Chief James White was recently released from quarantine himself. 

Duggan acknowledges that the coronavirus is an issue for Detroit’s and other cities' police departments.

“The focus of medical directors with first responders is to protect them from being infected from the citizens they interact with,” says Duggan.

Duggan expects the number of COVID-19 cases in Detroit will soar in the coming days, partly due to increased testing of suspected cases.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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