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Dearborn Heights police chief resigns amid conflict among city leaders

Jerrod S. Hart, Chief, Dearborn Heights Police Department.jpg
Posted at 10:25 AM, Jul 04, 2024

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Dearborn Heights police chief has stepped down, citing harassment, retaliation and defunding decisions from some city leaders, the mayor’s office announced.

Jerrod Hart has led the Dearborn Heights Police Department since February 2022.

According to a statement from the mayor's office, Hart says his departure comes as a result of "the continued harassment, retaliation, defunding of key positions and other unprofessional tactics my leadership and I have endured from several members of the Dearborn Heights City Council."

The city faced a shutdown after months of discussing a budget as well as conflict between the city council and the mayor. The city council passed a budget last Friday.

Watch our previous check-in with Hart in the video below:

Check-in with the Chief: Dearborn Heights' Jerrod Hart

Hart said he appreciates the support given to him from "the staff, business leaders and residents" during his time with the department.

“I certainly wish them well. Support and good will from folks like this is a key reason I can look back with pride at my 33 years of service in the law enforcement profession,” Hart said in a statement released by the city.

“I am devastated at the loss of Chief Hart” Mayor Bill Bazzi said in a statement. “He was a respected key in the reorganization and improvement of our police operations – which resulted in many creative and innovative initiatives that helped protect our community, while giving our officers opportunities for professional growth. He will be sorely missed, and I wish him the very best”.

Bazzi appointed the police department’s director, Kevin Swope, as the new police chief effective immediately.

The mayor says this could be the first of several changes within the city’s leadership staff.