Detroit Evening Report: Hamtramck swears in first Yemeni Muslim police chief in the US

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The new Hamtramck Police Chief Jamiel Altaheri was sworn on May 13, 2024, in front of city hall among a crowd of about 50 onlookers, and with his father behind him.

New Hamtramck Police Chief Jamiel Altaheri was sworn on May 13, 2024, in front of city hall.

The city of Hamtramck held a swearing in ceremony on Monday to inaugurate the city’s new Police Chief Jamiel Altaheri and two other officers at Zussman Park in front of Hamtramck City Hall.  

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Altaheri — thought to be the first Yemeni Muslim police chief in the U.S. — says he’s here to serve everyone in Hamtramck. 

“I’m really excited to serve,” Altaheri said. “This community is [a] diverse community. Because end of the day, as a chief of police you serve everyone, every every member of this community, one that comes here, visits here, resides here, does business here — we have to serve everyone.”

Altaheri comes from 20 years of working at the New York Police Department, recently serving as the deputy inspector and the commanding officer of diversity and inclusion at the NYPD. He also co-founded the NYPD Muslim Officers Society, and founded the Yemeni American Law Enforcement Officers Association to help break stereotypes of Muslims.

“I came on the job in 2004, hearing a lot of racial bias rhetoric, and I realized there’s a lot of ignorance within the police department, as well as the community and society at that time,” he told WDET in February.

In his new role as Hamtramck Police Chief, he hopes to build up community relations in the city, as well as a youth academy.  

Other headlines for Monday, May 13, 2024:

  • The Arab American National Museum is hosting its annual Arab Film Festival May 15-19, featuring movies from Arab and Arab-American filmmakers in a variety of genres.
  • Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and TechTown Detroit celebrated the opening of the Mission Café in Detroit last week.
  • The Hamtramck Health Hike, a 5k walk/run for all ages, is taking place at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, May 18, at Zussman Park in Hamtramck.
  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Salvation Army are seeking applications from homeless shelters for its Emergency Shelter Program.  

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.