The Cincinnati Police Department crossed several historic thresholds with its selection of new Chief James Craig.

When he begins his assignment in late July, Chief Craig will become the first outside candidate to take the top-cop job and the first African American chief.

City Manager Milton Dohoney selected Chief Craig, who leaves his role as chief of the Portland (Maine) Police Department. Dohoney conducted a national search, and chose Craig from more than 40 candidates. Chief Craig is a former LAPD captain and Detroit patrolman.

He takes over a department with 1,057 sworn personnel.

"When I looked at his wide-ranging and successful experience as a front line commander, his executive management skills, and proven commitment to partnership and community building, I was confident choosing him as chief," according to Dohoney. "He believes in and will advance the principles of community oriented policing. He has a track record of using the latest technologies and police practices that will help meet Cincinnati's complex challenges."

Craig is the first chief selected under Issue 5, a charter amendment approved by voters in 2001 that permits the city to consider internal and external candidates for chief.

As the Portland PD's chief, Craig oversaw 215 sworn personnel. Craig developed the department's first strategic plan and implemented CompStat. Three months after its implementation, the department saw a 10 percent reduction in violent crime and a 1 percent reduction in property crime.

Craig began his career as a Detroit Police officer in 1977. He moved to Los Angeles in 1981, after a layoff, and was hired by the LAPD. After advancing to Captain III, he retired in 2009.

As an LAPD commander, he has overseen 390 sworn and civilian personnel and a $42 million budget. While with the LAPD, Craig also served as the commander for the juvenile division and 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.

By Paul Clinton

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