Chief James W. Tolbert (Ret.)

Chief James W. Tolbert joined the Flint Police Department on October 14, 2013 and retired in February 2016. Most recently before serving Flint, he retired as the Deputy Chief of the Detroit Police Department after 27 years of service. Before joining the Detroit Police Department, Chief Tolbert served in the United States Marine Corps. Following active duty, he retired from the reserves in 2000 as a Gunnery Sergeant.

During his tenure at the Detroit Police Department, Chief Tolbert showed his dedication to the citizens of Detroit by performing his duties with zeal and determination. Throughout his career, he served the Detroit Police Department in the areas of Patrol, Narcotics & Undercover, The Organized Crime Unit, Special Operations, Homicide and the Major Crimes Task Force.

In 1998, while executing a Narcotics Search Warrant; Chief Tolbert engaged in a gun battle with an armed narcotics dealer. Chief Tolbert was wounded in the ensuing gun battle. After his recuperation Chief Tolbert returned to the Detroit Police Department with unshaken resolve to serve.

As Chief of Police, Tolbert has the responsibility over sworn and civilian employees of the Flint Police Department and the 911 center. He constantly assesses and rethinks how to serve the citizens of the City of Flint in an efficient and cost effective way. Chief Tolbert strives to introduce the most current technology to the Flint Police Department.

Chief Tolbert holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Wayne State University; he received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree, in Organizational Management from St. Mary’s College. Chief Tolbert also obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Wayne County Community College. Additionally Chief Tolbert is a Graduate of: Eastern Michigan University School of Staff and Command, The Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) and the Michigan State University, Police Command Officer Development Program.

Chief Tolbert has commanded many major incidents that required pressure decision making from multiple criminal issues to major events having national and international ties. Chief Tolbert has the aptitude to manage numerous projects and will enhanced law enforcement efforts in the most positive light. Chief Tolbert will use his accumulated knowledge, his experience and his determination to lead the Flint Police Department and serve the City of Flint.

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