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Posted on: September 22, 2020

East Lansing City Manager Announces New ELPD Chief

Kim Johnson

EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas announced this evening his appointment of Kim Johnson to serve as the new chief of the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD).

Johnson was part of a competitive hiring process for the ELPD chief position and was selected from a pool of four finalists following a series of interviews with internal and external stakeholders.  

Johnson previously served with ELPD for 30 years, from 1982-2012. He was hired on as an officer and moved up through the ranks to become captain of the department in 2006. In his role as captain, he also served as the public information officer and emergency management coordinator for ELPD.

From 2007 to present day, Johnson has also been an adjunct faculty member with the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, serving as a subject matter expert and instructor in the areas of organizational behaviors and policy development.

“We are fortunate to have Kim Johnson come out of retirement to step into this important leadership role with the East Lansing Police Department,” said Lahanas. “During his three decades with the department, he proved to be a respected, dedicated leader with a high level of professionalism; and, since that time, he has continued to be a leader in his field through his work with the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.”

Johnson has a Master of Arts in adult and continuing education/organizational behaviors and a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from Michigan State University. He is a graduate of the 170th School of Police Staff and Command at the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, and he is a graduate of the 196th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

Johnson will be stepping into his new leadership role with ELPD on Monday, Oct. 5.

“It is an honor and a privilege to return to ELPD and lead the fine men and women in the department to an exciting future, while also serving our great community and enhancing community collaboration efforts with all stakeholders,” said Johnson.

For the past six months, ELPD Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez has been serving as interim chief of the department. Once Johnson steps into his new leadership role, Gonzalez will resume his role as deputy chief of the department.

“We want to thank Deputy Chief Gonzalez for stepping in as interim chief during this transitional period,” said Lahanas. “Over his years with ELPD, he has continued to step up where he is needed, and he always serves with the utmost professionalism and dedication.”

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