Ex-Detroit chief Godbee new top cop for city school district
Former Detroit police chief Ralph Godbee is the new top cop for the Detroit Public Schools Community District, the district announced Thursday.
Godbee, who was a Detroit police officer for 25 years until he resigned amid a sex scandal six years ago, was appointed to the post by DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
In 2012, Godbee resigned from the department after he was accused of having an extramarital affair with an internal affairs officer in the department.
In his retirement, Godbee pursued the ministry and worked as an adjunct professor at Wayne County Community College District in law enforcement administration and criminal justice. He had a brief stint on AM radio.
“Serving Detroit’s citizens in law enforcement was a life-long dream," Godbee said in a statement provided by the district.
"I grew up in Detroit and I attended a DPS school and now I can give back. I’m here to serve and incredibly grateful to compete with highly qualified individuals to attain this position," he said.
Vitti said 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.
"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," Vitti said.
Vitti said he acknowledges Godbee had some "unfortunate personal mistakes made in the past."
"He, like all individuals, should have a second chance. His previous service to the city warrants that opportunity,” Vitti said.
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.