Mayor Mike Duggan named someone from outside the Detroit Fire Department to become the city's new fire commissioner this morning, selecting Eric Jones, a former cop and director of the city's Building Department.
Duggan introduced Jones, 46, at a news conference this morning at the Detroit Fire Department's Engine Co. 54 and Ladder No. 26 on Trinity at Grand River in northwest Detroit.
Jones' appointment takes effect immediately. He will serve as interim commissioner until the City Council confirms the appointment later this month.
Jones replaces Edsel Jenkins, who announced his retirement on Monday after serving in the Fire Department for nearly 30 years. Jenkins was appointed to the top job by Duggan in April 2014. Duggan, flanked by Jones, Jenkins, two former Detroit police chiefs — Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, said the Fire Department doesn’t need a top-flight firefighter at the top. Rather, Duggan said, he wanted a leader with the ability to transform practices within departments, something the Fire Department sorely needs, plagued as it is by problems with old equipment, inefficient distribution of supplies and old fire stations that make for unsafe living conditions.