Ask ELi: Why Don’t I See ELPD Near Me?

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 8:45 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

East Lansing Police Department Officer Justan Horst with K-9 Ares. (Photo by Raymond Holt)

East Lansing Info (ELi) runs a service called Ask ELi to Investigate. A reader recently wrote in this question:

“Can you tell me where ELPD spend the majority of their time? I live near Burcham and Hagadorn and think of Hagadorn as a busy road, but rarely see ELPD there or even on Grand River, which I travel regularly. I sometimes see vehicles near our near Chandler Crossing. I'm not sure this is even something that can be reported on, but was curious what areas consume their time. Thank you.”

We appreciate this question as we sometimes hear it from other people about their own neighborhoods.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that ELPD is not a very big police force, and our City is pretty big.

The average 12-hour shift in the patrol division has about five officers. The City has about 50,000 people. The land encompasses about 13.5 square miles.

That means that on the average patrol division shift, each officer is, on average, covering about 2.7 square miles and 10,000 people.

Right now, ELPD has 51 “sworn officers.” That includes every police officer from the Chief down to the newest officer. This budget year, two additional officers were hired.

I asked Deputy Police Chief Steve Gonzalez to answer our reader’s question. He responded:

“Our officers balance their time between responding to emergency and non-emergency calls for service, working traffic enforcement, and conducting preliminary criminal investigations. When it comes to traffic enforcement, they will focus on areas where we are receiving complaints or experience a high number of traffic accidents. We get requests from residents throughout the city for more focused enforcement efforts and will respond accordingly.”

Gonzalez added, “In reference to both the Hagadorn and Grand River corridors, I took a look at our enforcement data for this year. Officers are conducting traffic enforcement along these two roads on a high frequency basis.”

The ELPD makes a lot of data and records easily accessible on its website. You can find crime mapping, information about accessing police records, special reports, policies and procedures, and more. You can also sign up for emergency alerts.

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