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Benny Napoleon
Benny N. Napoleon has dedicated nearly four decades to public service, possesses leadership experience in both law enforcement and county government, and is a practicing attorney. His focus has been on community education and crime prevention, and believes that collaboration among municipalities, businesses, community groups and residents are key to protecting the public during these tough economic times.

Napoleon was educated in the Detroit Public School system and graduated from Cass Technical High School. He joined the Detroit Police Department in 1975 as a trainee police officer and was admitted to the Detroit Police Academy in June 1975. He served the Detroit Police Department in many patrol, investigative, undercover and administrative capacities. He began his career walking a beat in the Second (Vernor) Precinct. He quickly rose through the ranks of the police department, being promoted to sergeant in 1983; to lieutenant in 1985; to inspector in 1987; to commander in 1993; to deputy chief in 1994; to assistant chief in 1995; and was appointed Chief of Police by the Honorable Mayor Dennis W. Archer in 1998.

After more than 26 years of distinguished service, Chief Napoleon retired from the Detroit Police Department in 2001. In 2004, Napoleon was named Assistant Wayne County Executive to help facilitate the administration of the nation’s 13th largest county. He served in that role until his appointment as Wayne County Sheriff in July 2009. In November 2010, Napoleon received an overwhelming 73% the vote to retain the position of Sheriff through the 2012 term.

Some highlights of Napoleon’s law enforcement career include supervising the investigation that led to the successful apprehension and prosecution of the parties responsible for the felonious assault on international figure skating champion, Nancy Kerrigan; supervising the investigation that led to the swift apprehension of ten escapees from the Ryan Correctional Facility in Detroit; and drafting and implementing a crime reduction plan which led to an unprecedented 30% reduction in violent crime in the City of Detroit during his three-year tenure as Chief of Police.

Napoleon earned his Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement, Cum Laude, from Mercy College of Detroit in 1980; his B.A. in Criminal Justice, Cum Laude, from Mercy College of Detroit in 1982; and his Juris Doctor Degree from Michigan State University College of Law in 1986. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy; the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection School; the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command; the Aresty Institute of Executive Development at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education in which he was awarded a certificate of completion for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program in July 2011. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan and has been licensed to practice law since 1987.

Napoleon has also served the community as a baseball coach for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Michigan; a basketball coach for the Detroit Police Athletic League; a student mentor for the Detroit Public Schools; chaired the Michigan Civil Rights Commission; and is a life member of the NAACP. He is also an attorney with a private legal practice, 33rd Degree Mason, Prince Hall Affiliate and serves as an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Phoenix (Detroit Campus). Benny Napoleon’s awards and honors are too numerous to list.

Entries by Benny Napoleon

We Must Affirm Detroit as a Safe City

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 9:55 AM

If Quicken Loans began to lose tens of thousands of customers per year, chances are they wouldn't wait 50 years until they lost more than half of their customers before they committed to a different business model.

Well, in Detroit, we have lost more than half...

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FACT CHECK: Public Safety Not Properly Funded in Wayne County

(1) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 1:59 PM

I have been committed to protecting the citizens of Detroit and Wayne County for the past 38 years. As Sheriff, public safety is the top priority.

Since my appointment to Sheriff in 2009, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office has cut more than $30 million from the budget without...

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Spirit of Detroit Statue Represents the Potential for Our Great City

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 3:33 PM

Somehow we have lost our way as a city. We have lost sight of what really matters to our quality of life and to a strong Detroit.

Eyes from around the world are watching. Wondering how we have gone from one of the most influential cities in the world;...

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Back to the Basics: Public Safety Goes Beyond Law Enforcement

(1) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 4:19 PM

Amid the many political distractions associated with a city in crisis, a financial advisory board, and with the appointment of an emergency manager looming, it is easy to lose track of the main purpose of city government: the health, safety and well-being of its citizens.

When faced with incredible fiscal...

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Quality Neighborhoods Citywide Essential to Stronger Detroit

(13) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 11:04 AM

The New Year has officially begun. Now that the parties are over, we should all be preparing to make 2013 the healthiest and most prosperous year of our lives. We must begin with a renewed focus.

As a nation, the politics of 2012 gave us the best gift of all...

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Detroit Is My Home

(2) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 2:48 PM

I know the pain of Detroiters. I know what it's like to live next door to an abandoned home. I know the frustration of slow response times for police, fire and EMS. I know about driving and walking on darkened streets. I know that Detroit's children -- our city's future...

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Share Your Voice in Our Future by Voting Tuesday

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 8:32 PM

It can be overwhelming to review the number of items on the upcoming Election Day ballot. However, I encourage you to take the time to prepare and then vote on Tuesday, November 6.

The future of our nation, Michigan and Wayne County rests with you and other voters. Do...

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Voting YES on Prop 2 Supports Public Service Workers Who Protect Our Kids

(1) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 5:27 PM

Proposal 2 to protect collective bargaining rights for public sector employees is not a one-sided worker argument. Passage of Proposal 2 provides the mechanism for public sector workers to protect their professional training -- not just wages -- from getting cut.

Training aids in law enforcement and education. It enhances...

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Will You Make the Choice and Honor the Right to Vote?

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 2:48 PM

You have a choice in the November 6th General Election. Many around the world are in conflict and are denied the right to vote or run for elected office.

Your vote counts! Don't allow someone else to make the choice for you next month.

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Celebrate Patriots Today and Every Day

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 3:05 PM

The most horrific tragedy in American history occurred 11 years ago today. The terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania echo the hatred for America's freedoms, but signaled the greatness of our nation.

I look at that day in this way: All...

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Renewing County Jail Millage Necessary to Protect Your Safety

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2012 | 11:21 AM

It's no secret that Wayne County government faces a budget deficit and ongoing economic challenges with declining property values. However, now is not the time to decrease resources for public safety.

The safety of residents and visitors is my top priority, and it should be for...

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