(CBS DETROIT) – Tuesday, June 1 is the last day for Detroit Police Chief James Craig after 44 years of service.

On May 12, Craig, 64, announced his retirement from the department as rumors were swirling that he would run for Governor as a Republican candidate against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Craig stated during the announcement, the decision to retire was strictly his own.

“I am voluntarily leaving, I’ll say it again I am voluntarily leaving, we saw what happened with many chiefs across this Country, some were forced out, some retired because they didn’t feel supported,” he said.

Serving as Detroit’s Police Chief since 2013, Craig is a native Detroiter and started off his career in the city in 1977. He went on to spend 28 years in Los Angeles before and two years in Cincinnati, Ohio before coming returning to Detroit.

In 2020, Craig faced criticism for his handling of George Floyd protesters. Groups like Detroit Will Breathe called for his resignation. Craig called the protesters, “outside agitators” that were mainly from outside the city.

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The police chief has also prided his department on being transparent and releasing police-involved shootings quickly.

He says transparency within his department was a top priority.

“This department that raided its own police department that raided its own narcotics unit and we were transparent about it, operations clean sweep,” Craig said.

Mayor Mike Duggan announced James White as interim chief during a press conference on May 17.

White left the police department in August 2020 to become director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

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