Mike Duggan picks Detroit police official as new deputy mayor

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan announced Wednesday that he has named Todd Bettison as his new deputy mayor.

Bettison, who currently serves as 1st Assistant Chief of Police, begins his new position on May 23, the mayor's office said. His responsibilities will include overseeing aspects of city government and serving as a bridge to community leaders and activists 

He replaces Conrad Mallett Jr., who was confirmed last month by the Detroit City Council as the city’s new top attorney.

Mayor Mike Duggan announced Wednesday that he has named Todd Bettison as his new deputy mayor.

"Todd Bettison has a remarkable ability to work positively with every type of community group to improve the city," Duggan said in a statement.  "His leadership of the Neighborhood Police Officer program was a major part of changing the way the Detroit Police Department relates to Detroiters."

Bettison, 51, joins the mayor's office after a 27-year career with the Detroit Police Department. As second in command to Chief James White, he has overseen the department's community relations and the administrative functions of DPD.

As deputy mayor, Bettison will fill in for Duggan if he is incapacitated or otherwise unable to fulfill his duties. He will oversee all enforcement-related activities with the city from police to blight enforcement. 

His areas of focus will prioritize the fire department, emergency management and homeland security, building safety, engineering and environmental enforcement, community and faith-based affairs, civil rights, inclusion and opportunity, and government affairs. His salary is to be determined next week, Duggan spokesman John Roach said.

Bettison is the son of a Detroit school teacher of 38 years who found a passion in law enforcement. At DPD, he has been one of the fastest-rising members, the mayor's office said.

He joined the department in 1994 as a patrol officer and within five years was promoted to the rank of sergeant. A year later, he rose to lieutenant. He was promoted consistently through the ranks of inspector, captain, commander and eventually, deputy chief in 2017.

Bettison was responsible for overseeing the police handling of the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020. In May, one man was killed and more than 40 were arrested as a peaceful daytime protest in the city quickly turned violent overnight. The city's tactics, defended by then-Police Chief James Craig, drew complaints and lawsuits from activists.

“I truly believe in servant leadership and being given this opportunity means I’ll be able to serve the people of the City of Detroit in new ways and in new areas,” Bettison said. “There is so much more we can accomplish for the people of this city if we are able to find common ground with those members of the community that disagree with us. I believe the best solutions are the ones developed collaboratively.”

Bettison holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University and a graduate business certificate from the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State. He is also a graduate of Eastern Michigan University's staff and command program and Oakland University's Six Sigma/Lean Management Certification-Green Belt Program.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_