LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Lansing Police Department is re-introducing a role that will stand alongside Police Chief Ellery Sosebee, in hopes to take-on some of the many responsibilities that Sosebee has.

Assistant Police Chief Robert Backus has recently taken on a title that the department has not seen in a long time.

While the position is not exactly new, Backus said they were eagerly awaiting it’s return.

“This position hasn’t existed, from what we can find, since 2005,” said Assistant Chief Backus. “The whole reason it’s being brought up now is because it’s been a need for some time, and the chiefs in the past have noted that there needs to be a second person.”

Chief Sosebee said Lansing Police Chiefs have had to undertake a large amount of daily operations.

The assistant will allow Sosebee to be more efficient, and cover a wider range of community issues.

“In a time right now when law enforcement is under so much scrutiny, things can’t get missed,” said Sosebee. “It lets me get back to the things that I think I need to do as the actual chief, and that is dedicating some more time to the external portion of building our relationships back up with the community.”

Backus said he is eager to get started.

“I think that it’s going to lift some burden off the chief, but my hope is also that I am going to be able to assist with the other projects and just the day to day operations and make things run smoother,” said Backus. “I mean the whole goal is to change our operations so we can be more efficient and more effective.”