Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Bully-Cummings, Ella M.

After being influenced by a meeting with a female police officer, Ella Bully-Cummings joined the Detroit Police Department in 1977 at 19. Throughout her 25-year career, Bully-Cummings has held every rank within the department. In 2003 she was named the city’s first female police chief. 

Throughout her career, Bully-Cummings has pursued her educational goals, receiving her bachelor’s degree from Madonna University and her juris doctorate from Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University. For a brief period, she retired from the police force, pursuing the practice of law at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone. She returned to the force in 2002 as the first female assistant chief.

Ms. Bully-Cummings is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the National Bar Association. She is also active in the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

Bully-Cummings announced her retirement from the Detroit Police Department on September 4, 2008.