Chief Bio

Chief Eric Hawkins joined the Southfield Police Department in 1990, starting as a Police Cadet and appointed as a sworn Police Officer in 1991. Chief Hawkins rose through the ranks of the department and was formally appointed as police chief in October of 2012. His assignments have included:  oversight of the department’s tactical unit; command of the department’s downtown sub-station, which involved coordination of all the police department’s community-related programs, including crime prevention, D.A.R.E., traffic, and school officers; and assignment as Patrol Division Coordinator. Most recently Chief Hawkins implemented initiatives designed to enhance police-community relations, including citizen and youth police academies and a Police Chief’s Citizens Advisory Board.

Chief Hawkins earned a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University, a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and an Associate’s in Business Administration from Oakland Community College.  He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, Eastern Michigan University’s School of Police Staff and Command, the FBI Command Institute for Police Executives, and Central Michigan University’s Law Enforcement and School Liaison Program Institute.

Chief Hawkins’ professional affiliations include:  International Association of Chiefs of Police, FBI National Academy Associates, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

  • Oversaw implementation of strategies that resulted in a 45% decrease in crime during tenure as Chief. 
  • Initiated a five-year strategic plan that involved a major organizational restructuring.  The plan increased service delivery and saved the City of Southfield over $3 million annually.
  • Oversaw a $600,000 renovation of the police lobby.
  • Updated the technology within the police department, including: in-car laptops, in-car citation modules, thermal imaging cameras for police cars, pole cameras, laser scanning system, electronic speed signs, and computer/cell phone forensic software and equipment. 
  • Implemented mental health and substance abuse diversionary programs. 
  • Researched, introduced, and oversaw implementation of a Neighborhood Watch program.  
  • Strengthened community relations through implementation of citizen and youth police academies, creation of a Citizens Advisory Board, and volunteering as a board member for several communityoriented non-profit organizations. 
  • Minimized liability risk exposures through implementation of various trainings, including: cultural competency, implicit bias, emergency vehicle operations, annual legal updates, annual lethal force, mental health awareness, and sexual harassment.  
  • Strengthened relations with the local school system through: (1) increasing the number of school resource officers, (2) gaining access to the camera system for all campuses in the city, and (3) partnering with the school district on several safety-related initiatives. 
  • Initiated the process for departmental accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). 
  • Identified alternative revenue streams (e.g. grants, forfeiture, etc.) that averaged about $150,000/year.  Those funds were used for police training and equipment.  
  • Implemented several departmental health and wellness initiatives designed to promote healthy lifestyles, minimize the risks of injuries and chronic conditions, and increase productivity.  The initiatives included adjustable-height work stations, treadmills in work areas, a fitness program, and allowing for exercise time for officers during certain parts of their work shifts.