Saturday, July 11, 2020

ELPD Chief Larry Sparkes retires

March 17, 2020
<p>The East Lansing Police Department on Park Lane photographed on March 10, 2020.</p>

The East Lansing Police Department on Park Lane photographed on March 10, 2020.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

East Lansing Police Chief Larry Sparkes has retired after 33 years of service, the city announced in a press release Tuesday.

“We appreciate Chief Sparkes’ more than 30 years of dedicated and professional service to the East Lansing community,” East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas said in a statement. “He will be missed by those who worked with him, but we wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life.”

Sparkes has been in the center of controversy after Uwimana Gasito made a Facebook post alleging police brutality last month.

Gasito's charges were dropped after city officials released that the officer who allegedly injured his face had a prior complaint under similar circumstances in a December arrest. The officer was placed on paid administrative leave.

The East Lansing Police Department, or ELPD, has since sent the pending internal investigation of alleged excessive force to Michigan State Police.

Initially, ELPD concluded its internal investigation into an allegation of excessive force at the department and found inconclusive evidence of excessive force.

Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez will take over as interim police chief effective immediately. Gonzalez has been with ELPD for 22 years in various positions including detective, field training officer, driving instructor and member of the ELPD Honor Guard, according to the press release.

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