Long-time East Lansing Police Officer Larry Sparkes accepted his promotion to Chief in a well-attended swearing in ceremony at the East Lansing Public Library on August 25.
City Manager George Lahanas praised Sparkes’ thirty-year long career with the department, which started in 1987 when an 18-year-old Sparkes took a job as a jail officer in East Lansing. Lahanas called attention to Sparkes’ “strong sense of public service,” mentioning that in addition to his “day job” with the ELPD, Sparkes has served as a Fire Chief in Laingsburg, where he has also served for two decades on the City Council, including a term as Mayor.
City Clerk Marie Wicks administered the oath of office and Jim Swarthout pinned on Sparkes’ Chief badge. Sparkes explained that he invited Swarthout to the ceremony because he was the person who pinned on Sparkes’ very first badge when he was accepted as a reserve police officer.
Sparkes gave a short speech, reiterating his commitment to community outreach and communication. He pointed out the ELPD motto on the banner behind him—“quality service, protection and safety”—and said that he’s looking forward to providing all three. He specifically mentioned drunk driving and safety downtown as two areas that his department will be focusing on.
“This really is my dream job,” he concluded.