Former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee will serve as the new Chief of Police for Detroit Public Schools Community District. He was appointed by DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
Godbee, who retired from DPD as Chief of Police in 2012 amid allegations of an extramarital affair, served as a Detroit police officer for 25 years, climbing through the ranks of command until he was appointed the city’s top cop in 2010. Following his retirement, Godbee pursued a calling to the ministry and he is also an adjunct professor at Wayne County Community College District where he provides instruction in the field of Law Enforcement Administration, Criminal Justice Department. He also had a short stint on 910AM superstation before quitting in 2016.
“Serving Detroit’s citizens in law enforcement was a life-long dream,” said Godbee. “I grew up in Detroit and I attended a DPS school and now I can give back. I’m here to serve and I am incredibly grateful to compete with highly qualified individuals to attain this position. But I know the real challenge will be protecting students, forging strong partnerships, and connecting with the community we serve. I am excited about the direction under the leadership of Dr. Vitti and I look forward to participate in the transformation of the District.”
This appointment is in alignment with the District’s strategic plan to transform the culture so that students, families, community members and staff feel safe, respected, and connected.
“The district wanted a leader who did not need to learn on the job and could immediately drive a reform agenda where officers see themselves as student advocates and servants to the community, not just traditional police officers,” said Vitti. “We also were searching for a candidate who had a connection in, and to, the community so the district can engage parents and the city at a higher and authentic level to rally the community to ensure that our students are safe and can focus on their education. We believe that individual is Ralph Godbee.”
Vitti also mentioned Godbee’s previous stint with the City of Detroit and his past transgressions.
“We acknowledge that there were some unfortunate personal mistakes made in the past,” Vitti added. “However, after speaking to him directly about those incidents and looking him in his eyes as we discussed it, he has taken ownership of those mistakes and knowing over a decade has passed since they occurred, he, like all individuals, should have a second chance. His previous service to the city warrants that opportunity.”
Godbee will oversee the District’s Police Command Center and ensure all campuses are monitored and patrolled as students arrive, attend and depart from school. DPSCD is the only full-service police agency in the state that provides 24-7 service to its schools.