Ralph L. Godbee, Jr.
Ralph Godbee began his bi-vocational career with the Detroit Police Department on May 18, 1987, receiving top honors for academic performance and marksmanship from the Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy at 19 years of age. Promotions in rank during his distinguished career include sergeant, lieutenant, inspector, commander, deputy chief, and assistant chief. On July 22, 2010, at 42 years of age. He was elevated to chief of police by The Honorable Dave Bing, mayor of the city of Detroit; Godbee the 40th Chief of Police in the Department’s history was also its youngest to ascend to the Chief’s position.
Godbee an ordained Pastor, accepted his calling into the ministry in January of 2000 and is a lifelong resident of the city of Detroit with a rich history of community and civic engagement. Godbee is involved in organizations such as the Inner Court Christian Center, where he formerly served as the Senior-pastorunder the covering of the Kingdom Alliance Covenant Fellowship, Presiding Prelate, Bishop Edgar L. Vann, II; National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives – Metro-Detroit Chapter, past-president; NAACP Member; Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board, (former) trustee; Board of Directors (former), Common Justice
(Brooklyn, NY); former member of the Harvard University Law Enforcement Session; and former Executive Board member of the Police Executive Research Forum. He also has served as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Southeast Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
Godbee earned an Associates of Applied Science degree in law enforcement administration from Wayne County Community College District, a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in criminal justice/law enforcement and a Master of Arts degree in organizational leadership from Siena Heights University. He also is a graduate of the Northwestern University Traffic Institute’s School of Police Staff and Command and a graduate of the Senior Management Institute of Policing sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum.
Godbee retired from the Detroit Police Department on October 8, 2012 and after his work in full-time ministry accepted the Chief of Police position for the Detroit Public Schools Community District Police Department under the leadership of Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti, General Superintendent of Schools. Godbee served the State of Michigan’s largest school district and only school district with a fully sworn stand alone police department from August of 2018 until September of 2020; retiring to accept the Chief of Staff position at Triumph Church of Detroit under the leadership of Senior Pastor, Solomon W. Kinloch, Jr. Chief Godbee is now fully devoting his time, energy and talents to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ and social justice advocacy in his new role with Triumph Church.