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Dearborn Appoints First Muslim Police Chief

Starting from January 1, 2022, Cmdr. Issa Shahin will be leading Dearborn’s Police department, making him, apparently, the first Muslim police chief in the history of Michigan.

“Shahin is the senior-most executive commander with a strong track record and good rapport within the department,” Mayor-elect Abdullah Hammoud said on Monday, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“He’s committed to building a trusting relationship with residents and delivering equitable policing in a way to best meet today’s demands in community policing,” Hammoud said.

“I am confident he will deliver the transparency and accountability residents expect while positioning our police officers for success.”

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Appointed to the lead police force in Dearborn, Shahin applauded the diverse nature of the city people.

“Dearborn is a wonderfully diverse city whose residents have shared values and a desire for a safe and welcoming community,” Shahin wrote in his letter applying for the role as police chief.

“Dearborn deserves a chief who is fully committed to honest, transparent and meaningful involvement with all its communities.”

Dearborn Appoints First Muslim Police Chief - About Islam

Long History of Serving Detroit

Shahin has served with Dearborn Police since 1998. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1997 with a degree in political science and a masters in homeland security and emergency management in 2016.

Shahin said in his letter that he “firmly believes everyone’s voice matters.”

“… We will establish and embrace a culture of transparency and accountability to foster trust and legitimacy inside and outside the organization,” he wrote. “Moreover, the department can embrace needed police reforms while removing criminals from the streets – the concepts are not mutually exclusive. Providing equitable policing to all communities and concurrently remaining tough on crime is wholly achievable.”

Shahin will replace current Chief Ronald Haddad, who has led the department since 2008. 

Haddad, who is of Lebanese descent, was the first Arab-American to be police chief in Dearborn, which is about 47% Arab-American, according to 2019 Census data.

“Chief Haddad has served the city of Dearborn honorably for more than a decade, working hard to increase public safety and keep our neighborhoods and residents safe,” Hammoud said in a statement.

“The city is thankful for his commitment to the job and his years of public service.”

This remarkable feat makes Shahin following suit of other American Muslims who have taken charge of a commanding position in the police force.

In April 2021, Pakistani-American commander Yasar Bashir was appointed as first Muslim assistant chief of police in the United States.

In July 2020, Captain Adeel Rana was appointed as New York local precinct Commander.