Commissioners Linda Bernard, Annie Holt, Bryan Ferguson and Jim Holley standing up from their seats. Board staffmember Robert Brown is approaching them.
Commissioners adjourning the meeting.

Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting, March 30, 2023

Commissioners selected Courtney Blakes to be hired as chief investigator. They also addressed the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations into the board being conducted by the Detroit Police Department (DPD) and the city, and the board’s promotion of a police officer accused by three women of domestic abuse. 

“Week after week, I go away not feeling secure in your abilities.” 
— Resident giving a public comment to the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. 

Some commissioners expressed regret in promoting the police officer, Lemuel Sims, to the rank of sergeant.

“It’s my fault. I did not read it as I should have,” Commissioner Jim Holley said, referring to a summary report commissioners received about Sims’ career. Although he pointed out that Detroit police commissioners are volunteers and argued that it’s the job of DPD and BOPC staff to identify issues.

Referring to Sims and other officers, Chair Bryan Ferguson said, “I too had concerns about some officers.” Commissioner Jesus Hernandez wants the board to review DPD’s process for promoting police officers. 

Chair Ferguson responded to several investigations into the board, including a criminal investigation recently launched by DPD’s Internal Affairs Unit. Ferguson recited his press release and said, “I have staked my entire career on transparency. I will not sacrifice any of that for no one.” The city’s Auditor General and Office of Inspector General are also conducting administrative investigations into the board. The latter started its investigation in February after it seized the board’s citizen complaint records

The board voted to send an offer letter to Courtney Blakes for the position of chief investigator, after accepting a recommendation to hire her with a salary ranging between $80,000 and $135,000.

Some frustration remained: Commissioner Holley said he has not met Blakes, and Commissioner Willie Bell voted no. Commissioner Hernandez, who chairs the Personnel & Training Committee that recommended Blakes, said the committee followed the city’s hiring protocol. 

Table of Contents


The meeting was live-blogged on Mastodon and Twitter for Detroit Documenters, which offers its own report.

Documents available on, including the meeting agenda.

The agency’s last meeting on March 23 was documented by Alex Klaus and Damien Benson. The next meeting on April 6 was documented by Alex Klaus and Heidi Ausgood.

Visit the agency’s website for official information.


Archived pages

Mastodon posts and meeting page are archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.


The actual start of the meeting (3 p.m.) can be heard 30 minutes into the recording. This recording has not been altered. 


Screenshots of online meeting.


Page published April 2, 2023.

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