EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing Police Chief Lawrence (Larry) Sparkes has retired from the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) after 33 years of dedicated service. His last day with ELPD was March 15, 2020.
Chief Sparkes began his employment with ELPD in 1987 as a jail service officer and was sworn-in as a police officer in 1997. He was promoted to sergeant in 2004 and to lieutenant in 2011. In 2015, Chief Sparkes was promoted to captain and was selected to lead ELPD as police chief in August 2017. Chief Sparkes also held various roles at ELPD, including student alliance officer, crime scene investigator and member of the Accident Investigation Team.
“We appreciate Chief Sparkes’ more than 30 years of dedicated and professional service to the East Lansing community,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “He will be missed by those who worked with him, but we wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life.”
Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez is serving as ELPD’s interim police chief effective immediately. Gonzalez is a 22-year veteran of ELPD and has a master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. During his time at ELPD, Gonzalez has worked in various special assignments, including detective, field training officer, driving instructor and member of the ELPD Honor Guard.