FLINT, Michigan—Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley today praised Phil Hart for his service to the residents of Flint, his strong leadership over the last nine months, and his commitment to serving the Flint Police Department and entire community.
Hart was appointed as interim police chief when Mayor Sheldon Neeley was elected in November 2019. His vision, leadership and relationship-building proved invaluable to the City of Flint. Working alongside Mayor Neeley, Chief Hart helped to develop a number of initiatives within the City of Flint Police Department:
Re-establishing relationships with Mott Community College and University of Michigan-Flint police departments to increase neighborhood patrols.Settling two police union contracts, including one that had not been successfully negotiated since 2008. Stopping the auctioning of confiscated firearms and allowing the illegal weapons to go back into use. Leading a recruitment effort that brought in more than 200 applicants to fill long-vacant police officer positions in the department.The Flint City Charter limits the length of interim appointments. Flint City Council approved appointing Hart temporarily to the chief position in February 2020, allowing Mayor Neeley additional time to secure a permanent police chief. Hart’s temporary appointment ends today.
“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. They have a difficult job, but always approach each and every day with a positive attitude and commitment to the citizens they have sworn to protect and serve.”
Mayor Neeley thanked Chief Hart for his service, his dedication to the residents of Flint, and his friendship throughout the administration’s first nine months in office.
“No one could have predicted the intersection of crises we would face as a community,” Mayor Neeley said. “Through it all, Chief Hart showed poise and heart. He guided our community through the anguish of George Floyd, participated alongside myself in numerous peaceful protests, and provided leadership within the Flint Police Department. He stepped up to serve temporarily as Flint police chief when his community needed him and for that I will always be grateful.”
Mayor Neeley soon will be making an announcement regarding the appointment of a law enforcement professional with decades of experience as City of Flint Police Chief. Today’s focus is on celebrating Chief Hart and his contributions to the City of Flint.
Until such time as a new police chief takes office, the command staff will continue to operate business as usual for the department.