Cincinnati's new police chief talks goals for department

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati officially introduced its next Police Chief at City Hall Tuesday.

"We're going to do great things together, I know it," Chief James Craig said. "I'm not a miracle worker as it was pointed out, but I know we're going to make a difference."

Craig is replacing former Chief Tom Streicher, who is now retired.

He's been in the Queen City for the past few days and is looking for a place to live.

This is Chief Craig's third visit to Cincinnati, getting his formal introduction, and laying out how he plans to put his personal stamp on enforcing the law in the Queen City.

Cincinnati's new Police Chief was beaming with pride, on his third trip, before officially taking the reigns.

"I'm home," he said proudly. "Cincinnati is home."

Craig worked in Los Angeles 28 years, also briefly in Portland, Maine.

"It just never felt like home," Craig said. "But Detroit is home, Cincinnati is home, it's the Midwest. There's a charm about the Midwest and Portland, I wasn't there long enough but certainly, I had a great time there, but east coast, very different."

"Excitement," Craig said. He said he is no miracle worker, but has great faith. "Encouraged, we're going to do great things together, I know it."

The Chief is motivated, not only for those sworn to serve, but also for the civilians on the force.

"Together we will work at abating the violence in this city. But I know the best way to do that, is to develop our young people, develop our men and women who are out on the front lines of this department, who you see at two o'clock in the morning. It's important that we provide the kind of leadership that will make a difference in this city."

Then, the new Chief, met "Chief For The Day", a 10-year-old named Drake Davis.

"Mr. Chief, how are you? Come up here," said Mayor Mark Mallory waving Davis up to the podium where Craig was speaking.

This was a birthday present from his dad.

"Because I wanted to be a cop when I grow up," Davis said enthusiastically.

His advice for Chief Craig?

"Stay on the lookout for lawbreakers!" Davis said smiling.

"What would you do to make a rapport with young people?" Davis asked Chief Craig.

"What a great question," Craig said and applauded him, along with most people in the room. "This is the key, I can start with boot camps where I took 25 of the highest at-risk youth in a community ravaged by gangs, 25, and we put a boot camp on the school campus. We worked with the young people, we worked with their parents and within ten weeks, a program that we designed, turned them around."

Chief Craig said he's already met with his Executive Team, the Assistant Chiefs and said that went great.

It's important to embrace their ideas Craig said, and also hear what goals they have for their city.

Craig gets sworn in August 2.

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