Mayor Duggan praises McKinnon’s leadership and legacy of accomplishment.
McKinnon will return to teaching at University of Detroit Mercy.
DETROIT – After serving Detroit in a career spanning more than five decades, Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon has decided to retire effective July 1. His planned retirement caps a remarkable civic career that has made him one of Detroit’s most beloved leaders.
McKinnon, 72, was tapped in late 2013 to head Mayor Mike Duggan’s transition team because of his extensive experience in city government. Before long, then Mayor-elect Duggan tapped McKinnon to be deputy mayor.
“I’m honored to have served with Mayor Duggan, and I am proud to have been part of our city’s turnaround,” McKinnon said. “Although I’m leaving this job, I will not be leaving the city, and I will continue to educate and speak out for our youth and the poor. I will continue to do whatever I can to have an impact on their lives and in our city.”
As deputy mayor, McKinnon, reorganized the city’s Homeland Security/Emergency management sections under one unified command, and led the Mayor’s office of faith-based initiatives, which includes the tremendously successful Adopt-A-Park program. He also represented the Mayor and the City at hundreds of events.
“It’s hard to think of Detroit without Ike McKinnon as part of city government,” Mayor Duggan said. “He has dedicated so much of his life and career to this city, and people just love him for the example he has set for so many young people,” Mayor Duggan said.
McKinnon joined the Detroit Police Department in 1965. There, he rose through the ranks of officer, sergeant, lieutenant and inspector before leaving in 1984 to become a professor and director of public safety for the University of Detroit. He left five years later to become director of security and fire protection for the Renaissance Center, returning to DPD in 1994 as police chief. He is often credited with helping to reorganize and revitalize the department under his tenure, and taking what was then considered outside-the-box approaches to fighting crime, such as meeting with rival gang members to negotiate truces.
After retiring as chief in July 1998, McKinnon continued teaching and held positions in the private sector, including serving as director of global security at Compuware Corporation during the relocation of its world headquarters to downtown Detroit.
McKinnon was serving as an associate professor at UDM at the time he joined the mayor’s transition team and was granted a two-year leave of absence. He was later granted a six-month extension, and with that time up, McKinnon will return to teaching at the university after he leaves office at the end of June.
“Dr. McKinnon has been a valuable asset to the city’s resurgence, and we look forward to his return so that he can share his insightful lessons in leadership with our students, faculty and staff,” President Antoine Garibaldi said.
McKinnon will also focus on writing his next book. He has already published three so far: “North Between the Houses” (2005, Atomic Quill), “In the Line of Duty” (2003, Turner), and his autobiography, “Stand Tall” (2001, Sleeping Bear).
Mayor Duggan has not yet selected McKinnon’s replacement.