Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has selected James White, the city's former assistant police chief who said he would leave his position as executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to fill Chief James Craig’s role when he retires on June 1.

Born and raised in Detroit, White started with the Detroit Police Department in 1996. He became officer of internal controls in 1999, then sergeant of patrol in 2000, sergeant of detective bureau in 2005, lieutenant in 2006, and then a commander in 2007, the Detroit Free Press reports. 

At the news conference Monday, White remarked about his training as a licensed mental health counselor and plans to seek grant funding for counseling services for Detroit police officers at each precinct.

“The problem with trauma is trauma makes you fearful of trauma … then you develop PTSD from the trauma you’re exposed to,” White said of post-traumatic stress disorder. “I’m going to be pushing for grant funding. It is my hope that we can get a counselor in every precinct.” 

White's permanent appointment, officials said, is not a foregone conclusion. The board of police commissioners plans to identify a list of candidates from which Duggan will select a permanent replacement. That selection must also be confirmed by Detroit City Council. White said Monday he would like to become the permanent police chief.

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