Mayor Mike Duggan has named Assistant Police Chief Todd Bettison as Detroit’s deputy mayor.
Bettison, 1st deputy chief of police and a 27-year veteran of the city’s force, will begin his new position on May 23, the city announced Wednesday.
Bettison replaces Conrad Mallett Jr. who recently became Detroit’s corporation counsel. Mallett was appointed deputy mayor in May 2020 to head the city’s COVID-19 response and establish Detroit’s Community Health Corps., which works to connect low-income residents with support services and assistance programs.
“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.”
The son of a Detroit school teacher, Bettison has served as second-in-command to Police Chief James White, overseeing the department’s administrative functions and community relations.
As deputy mayor, Bettison will fill in for Duggan if the mayor is incapacitated or otherwise unable to fulfill his duties. He is expected to oversee all enforcement-related activities in the city from police to blight and other areas.
The city noted Bettison’s key areas of focus will be Detroit’s fire, emergency management and homeland security departments as well as Building Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department enforcement, community and faith-based affairs and Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity.
Bettison got his start as a patrol officer for the city in 1994 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant within five years. One year later, Bettison became a lieutenant. He continued to rise the ranks, becoming an inspector, captain, commander and ultimately, deputy chief in 2017.
“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 earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University and a graduate business certificate from the Mike Ilitch School of Business. He also is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s Staff and Command and Oakland University’s Six Sigma/Lean Management Certification-Green Belt Program.
Besides Bettison and Mallett, Detroit’s former police chief, Isaiah “Ike” McKinnon, also has held the deputy mayor role under Duggan. After McKinnon’s retirement in 2016, the mayor declined to appoint a replacement but filed paperwork designating that former Police Chief James Craig would step in, if needed.
I would like to understand why we have such a loosy, goosy system of acquiring a deputy mayor and what the qualifications for such a position are. I assume he is no longer functioning as a police officer. What is the role of the deputy mayor and where is that articulated?
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