Portland Police Chief James Craig moving to Cincinnati

6:21 PM, Jun 28, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Chief Craig announces he is leaving Portland for Cincinnati

Video: Reaction to New Police Chief

Police Chief James Craig brought a Cincinnati Reds cap to his Tuesday press conference.

CINCINNATI (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland Police Chief James Craig has been chosen as the new Police Chief in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Word of the announcement came Tuesday morning from Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney.

Craig, Portland's 18th Police Chief, came to Portland in 2009 from the Los Angeles Police Department, where he worked for 28 years. He was the first black officer to hold the top police job in Portland, in charge of more than 210 officers and civilians.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Craig was one of 45 candidates from around the country scrutinized by a six-member screening committee of citizens hand-picked by Dohoney.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Craig said he was proud of his record of reducing crime in the city and increasing community policing efforts. He made his focus both immigrant communities and teenagers, and Dohoney cited that focus as a reason Craig was given the job in Cincinnati.

Craig said he expects to be sworn in in Cincinnati on August 2.

Craig also said that while he thought Portland needed a fresh perspective when he was hired two years ago, he thinks the city should hire from within this time around. Assistant Chief Mike Sauschuck will serve as Acting Chief when Craig leaves, and says he is interested in the job.

City leaders in Portland say a search for a new chief will not begin until incoming City Manager Mark Rees begins his job on July 20. The city manager is in charge of choosing the chief. Rees was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

Mayor Nick Mavodones praised the work Craig did with the department and says he's excited for Craig that he's able to follow his dreams. Mavodones says, though, that he hopes the next chief will stay for a long time. "I think it would be good to have some stability in the force," Mavodones said.


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