Lansing Interim Police Chief talks department policy changes

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — An independent review of the Lansing Police Department is done, and now there’s a 47-page report that outlines areas to be improved.

One part deals with body camera use.

Interim Chief Ellery Sosebee, says that was already under review.

“There is an exemption for the officers to turn off the volume or the mic of the camera when they are talking about sensitive information with their coworkers or a victim,” Interim Lansing Police Chief, Ellery Sosebee said.

The report recommended the department reduce the times officers can stop audio recordings.

“Do we possibly leave them on all the time, is there a value in that?” Interim Chief Sosebee said. 

The report also said officers need to quickly identify themselves when interacting with the public.

Sosebee says he is personally pushing for this.

The report recommended officers say their full name, rank, and command to anyone they stop and have that available in writing as well.

“It de-escalates the situation when they know your name, they know your badge, they know what department you’re working for and they know why they’re being stopped or contacted,” Interim Chief Sosebee said. 

Ann Charleus is the Executive Director of Blue Line Law Firm, which is the firm that put this report together.

Charleus said in her opinion the department should also prioritize its current staffing shortage.

“Hiring is going to be incredibly important. If you don’t have enough of officers there to protect the citizens of Lansing, it’s going to be difficult for you to get any initiative off the ground,” Charleus said.

There are dozens of recommendations for the department to go through, and Interim Chief Sosebee said he’s taking each one of them seriously.

“We try to do every one of them or at least as much as we can do,” Sosebee said. 

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