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Detroit police chief back on the job after bout with COVID-19

City of Detroit

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is back on the job full-time after recovering from COVID-19.

Craig appeared at a Thursday press conference alongside Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. He urged others with the disease to “fight to survive.”

“This virus, this deadly virus, I needed to punch back,” Craig said. “It will consume you, it wants to take over. But if you let it know you’re in charge, you can win this.”

Craig praised the city’s decision to aggressively quarantine police employees who may have been exposed to the virus, saying it was “the absolute right thing to do” and “saved some lives on our department.”

Craig said the department did have to move staff around and put some officers in special units on patrol to make sure police service continued uninterrupted. Now, he said things are slowly getting back to normal.

“The great news is, we moved maybe 80 staff and spread them out throughout the department,” Craig said. But now, “they’re all back in the specialized units.”

Craig said more than 700 formerly-quarantined staff are now back on the job, thanks to rapid-response testing. 338 police employees, including 257 officers, remain in quarantine.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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