Friday, October 29, 2021

Detroit police commander arrested for drunken driving is named Highland Park police chief

Posted By on Fri, Oct 29, 2021 at 12:36 PM

click to enlarge Johnny Thomas has been named chief of the Highland Park Police Department. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Johnny Thomas has been named chief of the Highland Park Police Department.

A Detroit police commander who retired after crashing a department-issued vehicle while drunk is now the chief 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 lead the city’s police department.

Thomas, who once ran internal affairs, had a blood-alcohol content above .17 when he struck 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 precinct, was charged with operating while impaired and sentenced to probation.

At the time, then-Detroit Police Chief James Craig said he was “very disappointed” and placed Thomas on restrictive duty pending an investigation.

Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp defended hiring 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 police officers, there’s certain standards. However, how many of us, including you, have not made a mistake in life?”

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 8, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation