Detroit Police Chief James Craig Tests Positive For Coronavirus

WWJ News
March 27, 2020 - 4:40 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit Police Chief James Craig is the latest local public figure to test positive for coronavirus.

The announcement came at a news conference from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who said Craig is doing OK. 

"It was something that we knew was a possibility," the mayor told reporters. "He is very fit, he's got mild symptoms. And he is very much in charge of running his department; I think I've talked to him ten times today. But he's not gonna be back in site until he fully recovers."

The mayor also reported that a total of 39 Detroit police officers have tested positive for coronavirus, and hundreds are in quarantine. "We are going to ramp up the protection of our police officers," Duggan pledged. "It is right now our highest priority."

Craig, who was tested Friday morning, has not been hospitalized.

Speaking briefly on the phone with the Detroit News, Craig said: "I feel alright. A little feverish, but I'm hanging in there."

The chief designated Detroit Assistant Chief James White, the longest-tenured assistant chief, to handle day to day operations out of DPD headquarters while Craig is being treated.

"The chief is very fit, focused on nutrition and exercise, and we hope that will help his recovery," said White. 

Meanwhile, Duggan said the city will be using symptom screening forms and temperature checks for employees.

"It's not just Detroit. In the New York police department they have well over 300 officers who have tested positive for COVID-19 and three of their highest police officials have also tested positive," Duggan said. "This is the world we live in now."

Duggan said Detroit has learned from other cities that when it comes to police departments, it's important to put just as much focus on preventing officers from infecting each other as being infected by residents.

The original purpose of the news conference was to update the public about drive-thru testing at the former State Fairgrounds, which Duggan said is "extremely well" so far. 

The intital plan was to run 100 tests the first day, then ramp up to 300 on Saturday and 400 after that. The mayor said, however, they now intend to ramp up to 400 tests on Saturday, meaning more appointments opened up Friday afternoon. Note that people must have a doctor's order and an appointment to be tested. [MORE INFO HERE]

Duggan himself said he has no symptoms has has not been tested for the virus.