DETROIT — Detroit’s police chief is not about to let his city fall into the hands of armed criminals. Lacking confidence in his beleaguered police force and poorly equipped vigilantes, Chief James Craig has begun deputizing and arming the city’s “good” residents.
“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood that they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this police department,” Craig told the press.
Craig admitted, “confidence in [his] forces is running low,” despite a modest 7 percent drop in violent crime over the last year.
Opening the doors to the city’s armory, he continued, “If you don’t think we can handle the job, do it yourselves.”
The unorthodox move received mixed support in the city, which last year logged just as many homicides as did New York City, despite having only one-tenth its population.
Newly deputized Detroit resident Paul Sheppard claimed an early success. “When the Domino’s delivery boy showed up at my house without the stuffed cheesy bread I ordered, he only had to take one look at my loaded pistol before comping my entire meal.”
“I suppose if I encountered a bank robbery in progress, I’d also step in,” Sheppard professed. “Unless the robbers were armed as well, in which case I’d probably just keep my head down and keep walking. I’m not stupid.”
The police chief, who had previously advocated for an assault weapons ban, tighter background checks, and strict regulations on ammunition sales, said his belief that an armed citizenry could effectively deter crime flipped in 2009 when he became police chief in Portland, Maine.
“There’s a number of CPL [concealed pistol license] holders running around the city of Detroit,” Craig told listeners of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR (760 AM). “Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”
When it comes to deciding what makes a “good American” worthy of deputizing, Craig offered a set of strict guidelines.
“They have to have at least one good eye, no more than three arrests for violent crimes, and a can-do attitude.”
According to the most recent census, that leaves roughly 450 qualified citizens out of the city’s nearly 700,000 residents.