Detroit Police Chief James Craig doesn’t sound like most other big city police chiefs.
Most union-heavy police bosses tout gun control despite the fact that the cities with the strictest gun laws also tend to have the most gun-related crime. Chief Craig sees things very differently.
According to the Detroit News, the city has suffered 37% fewer robberies in 2014 versus 2013, 22% fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30% fewer carjackings. Chief Craig believes that armed citizens are at least part of the answer.
“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” Chief Craig told the News. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.
“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.
This is not the first time that Chief Craig has touted armed citizens as an answer to crime. Back in January Craig praised citizens who have concealed firearm carry permits help deter crime, based on his own professional experience.
“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at the time.
Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.
“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.
“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”