Ralph Godbee will serve as the new Chief of Police for Detroit Public Schools Community District appointed by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
Godbee retired from the Detroit Police Department as Chief of Police.
Godbee served as a Detroit police officer for 25 years climbing through the ranks of command until he was appointed Chief of Police for the largest urban City in the State of Michigan. 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.
“Serving Detroit’s citizens in law enforcement was a life-long dream. 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. 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,” said Godbee.
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. 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. We acknowledge that there were some unfortunate personal mistakes made in the past.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,” said Superintendent Vitti.
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.