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Flint interim police chief completes term; mayor to announce permanent chief soon

Flint Interim Police Chief Phil Hart, right, secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to make both proactive and reactive efforts possible.
Flint Interim Police Chief Phil Hart, right, secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to make both proactive and reactive efforts possible.(Eric Fletcher/ WJRT)
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 3:15 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Phil Hart’s work as Flint’s interim police chief has been completed and Mayor Sheldon Neeley is preparing to announce a permanent replacement.

Hart, the former Saginaw County undersheriff who ran unsuccessfully for Genesee County sherif in August, was appointed the interim police chief in February. He temporarily replaced Timothy Johnson, who also unsuccessfully ran for sheriff.

Flint’s charter limits the amount of time interim employees can work and Hart reached that time limit on Monday. Neeley credited Hart with making a number of improvements to the Flint Police Department during his six months as interim chief.

  • Re-establishing relationships with Mott Community College and University of Michigan-Flint police departments.
  • Settling two police union contracts.
  • Ending the practice of auctioning confiscated firearms, which put some illegal weapons back into use.
  • Leading a recruitment effort that brought in more than 200 applicants.

“I have worked diligently to put into place programs to assist the men and women of the Flint City Police Department and assist in making a smooth transition for the next chief,” Hart said. “I am very appreciative of my time with the City of Flint and wish the men and women of the Flint Police Department all the best.”

Neeley said he plans to announce the appointment of a permanent police chief soon. He didn’t identify his choice Monday, but said the person has decades of experience in law enforcement.

The Flint Police Department command staff will continue operations until the permanent police chief begins their duties.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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