Above from left: Steve Gonzalez, Jan Rohn, Larry Sparkes, and Diane Shafer.
Steve Gonzalez has been named Deputy Chief of the East Lansing Police Department by ELPD Chief Larry Sparkes. Sparkes, who was officially sworn-in last week, tells ELi he has full confidence in Gonzalez’s ability to share in the top leadership of the Department.
Sparkes invited ELi to meet at 0900 hours this morning at Sparty’s in Frandor to cover the news, first shared with us last night. Sparkes explained this morning that, as Deputy Chief, Gonzalez will be second-in-command of ELPD and will be in charge of day-to-day operations department-wide. Sparkes says Gonzalez will also continue his work as Public Information Officer.
At Sparty’s, ELPD administrative staff members Jan Rohn and Diane Shafer seconded Sparkes’ enthusiasm for Gonzalez’s promotion.
“We’re very happy about this,” Rohn told me.
Shafer said, “We’re thrilled that we get to work with such wonderful, educated, fluent people.”
Gonzalez was hired into ELPD in December of 1997. He says the bulk of his work has been with the Patrol Division, working both day and night shifts. He also spent three years working in the ELPD Detective Bureau, primarily on criminal sexual assault cases.
Gonzalez has risen up the ranks of ELPD, having previously served as Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Interim Captain. He has a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management and a graduate certificate in executive law enforcement with American Military University. In June of this year, Gonzalez graduated from the Staff and Command program of MSU’s School of Criminal Justice. That program trains officers in police administration and management.
Gonzalez previously worked for six years in the U.S. Coast Guard as a port security specialist. He is married with two young children. He shares Sparkes’ philosophy that ELPD should focus on community safety and positive community relations.
This morning Gonzalez said that he’s excited to have this opportunity: “I always had as a personal and professional goal to progress through the ranks of the East Lansing Police Department.” He adds, “We have a young department, so we have an opportunity to develop our officers into a truly community-focused law enforcement agency in congruence with the chief’s priorities.”