A Detroit police chief who retired after crashing a vehicle issued by a department while he was drunk is now the head of the Highland Park Police Department.
Highland Park on Thursday announced the hiring of Johnny Thomas, a 20-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, to head the city’s police department.
Thomas, who once drove internal affairs, had a blood alcohol level of over 0.17 when he hit a pickup truck that was stopped at a red light in January 2019. The driver of the truck was injured and taken to a hospital.
Thomas, who was arrested by officers from his own area, was charged with operating while weakened and sentenced to probation.
At the time, then-Detroit Police Chief James Craig said he was “very disappointed” and put Thomas on restrictive service pending an investigation.
Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp defended the appointment of Thomas, saying he was the best candidate.
“I need an administrator. This man is a chief, all kinds of training,” Yopp told WXYZ-TV. “As a police officer, there are certain standards. But how many of us, including you, have not made a mistake in life? ”
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