After revelations of his sexual relationship with a subordinate began surfacing last week, Detroit’s police chief Ralph Godbee resigned. His resignation leaves the city searching for its fifth leader within the past four years. It’s also a crucial time for the city to lose their chief, with a recent spike in violent crimes and an angry police force revolting over new 12-hour shifts, 10% pay cuts and a cut in both health and retirement benefits. His resignation is a hit to the department that really needs strong leadership right now. However, James Tate, a councilman and former second deputy chief, is assuring the city that Godbee’s suspension and resignation won’t affect the department’s dedication and capabilities to fight crime.
Godbee worked for the department for 25 years and has been chief for the last two years. Though Godbee wasn’t forced to resign, Mayor Dave Bing announced it was the right decision. Although Godbee hasn’t publicly commented on the news of his affair with internal affairs officer Angelica Robinson, he was said to be embarrassed about the situation and felt he had let down the department and the mayor. His resignation comes after a 30-day suspension pending an investigation into the claims that Robinson wanted to end the affair, but Godbee wouldn’t let her go. Godbee is also said to have had other officers put Robinson under surveillance.
Godbee was put in charge as police chief after the previous chief was fired, partly because of his own relationship with a department lieutenant, Monique Patterson, who apparently also had a relationship with Godbee when she was his subordinate. It wasn’t the first time the mayor had to talk to him about his relationships. Chester Logan, assistant chief, will be put in charge as interim chief while the city finds a permanent candidate for the position. Logan said he will likely apply for the job.