Meet The Chief
Police Chief James E. Craig
Police Chief James E. Craig is responsible for Police Department operations. The Chief coordinates, organizes, directs, and controls activities. The Chief also implements policy and makes necessary personnel and procedural changes to ensure the effective operation of the Department.
Chief Craig is the 13th chief of the Cincinnati, having taken the oath of office on Aug. 2, 2011. He previously served as Chief of Police in Portland, Maine. While in Portland, a city of about 65,000 residents and a sworn staff of 215, Craig developed the department’s first strategic plan and reorganized the department to improve both efficiency and effectiveness. He implemented the data-driven CompStat process as a crime reduction strategy, and in the three months of its implementation, saw a 10 percent reduction in violent crime and a 1 percent reduction in property crime.
He also established the Chief’s Community Advisory Board in Portland, and enhanced the department’s police-community partnerships. In an effort to improve relations with Portland’s immigrant communities, Craig held community forums, started a Police Athletic League, and held youth forums in the high schools and juvenile detention center. Under Chief Craig’s leadership, the Portland PD was one of six national learning sites for law enforcement's response to mentally ill individuals.
Craig began his career as a police officer in 1977 for the City of Detroit, MI before moving to Los Angeles in 1981. It was there that he advanced from Police Officer to Captain III, the rank he held when he retired in 2009.
Craig also has experience at the supervisory and management levels of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), where he served for 28 years. From 2002 to 2009, he served as the Commanding Officer (CO) of the West, Southwest, and Southeast areas and over the Patrol, Juvenile, and Operations Support Division of the Department. He has overseen 390 sworn and civilian personnel and a $42 million budget. He implemented effective strategies to sustain crime reduction efforts over a three year period in the Southwest area, reducing violent crime by 27 percent, property crime by 21 percent, part I crime by 23 percent, homicide by 22 percent, and shooting victims by 31 percent. Under Craig’s leadership, a year-long joint LAPD/FBI operation targeted a local gang that culminated in warrants served in 22 locations.
Craig has served as commander for such large events as BET Awards Show, the Emmys, and the spontaneous eruptions that accompanied Lakers championships.
As in Portland, Craig redesigned the LA area’s involvement in youth initiatives as a way to promote positive relationships with police and young people including high school and middle school programs. He was the second recipient of the Guardian Award by Herb Wesson, Councilman of District 10, for his efforts at improving the quality of life and reducing violent crime. During the ceremony, Craig was commended for his outreach efforts with young people.
Craig brings effective leadership, training and management practices with him to the helm of the City of Cincinnati's largest department. For several years, Craig was the CO of LA’s Southeast Patrol Division. After conducting a thorough risk assessment of the division, he reorganized and reassigned personnel to better meet the policing needs of the community. His experience also includes designing and implementing “Solutions Meetings” to address personnel morale and motivational issues and overall management of the Recruit Training Section for the LAPD for two years. He developed systems to track the performance of employees, improving the employee supervision as well as overtime expenditures.
While with the LAPD, Craig also served as the CO for the Juvenile Division; the Wilshire Patrol and Operations Support Divisions, where he was directly over patrol operations, special enforcement units, the administrative support unit, the detective section, and vice unit; was Adjutant to the Chief, serving as liaison to the Mayor, the Board of Police Commissioners and the department, among other duties; and Investigator in the Internal Affairs Division.
Craig is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF); National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) where he was selected as a member on the IACP’s Civil Rights Committee; the past president of the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation (OJB), and a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Portland, Maine.
The Community Relations Section Executive Manager, the Public Information Office (PIO), the Executive Assistant, and all bureau commanders are directly accountable to the Police Chief.