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Finalists for the Lansing police chief job discuss their priorities

Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 17:14:58-05

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing could soon have a new police chief.

After reviewing 20 applications and interviewing several candidates, the city has narrowed it down to two finalists, interim Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee and Captain Jason Matson with the Bakersfield Police Department in California.

“I do believe for the advancement of the Lansing Police Department and the advancement for Lansing as whole, I am the best candidate for the job as the chief of police,” Sosebee said.

Sosebee has been with the Lansing Police Department since 2002. For 10 years he was a police officer who kept an eye on the streets, then he was promoted to sergeant, and eventually became a lieutenant. In June, he took over as interim chief after Chief Darryl Green retired.

“I do believe that my knowledge of the city, of the department, of the neighborhoods, of the local government is a benefit to me,” Sosebee said.

If chosen to be the permanent chief, Sosebee said he would focus on community engagement, which he believes would be extremely beneficial in reducing the number of teens being killed by gun violence. So far this year, 7 teens have died after being shot in the city.

“We need to figure out a way to engage with those individuals and show them that there are consequences from their actions and they may not realize that,” Sosebee said.

Matson has been with the Bakersfield Police department since 2002.

“Coming from an outside jurisdiction, I know that there will be relationships that will have to be met and created,” Matson said.

If granted the opportunity to be the next chief, Matson said he plans to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department.

“I grew up in poverty, I grew up standing in welfare lines and I grew up in an area where things have not been so good in the community,” Matson said. “I saw law enforcement promote racism, bigotry and I have seen hatred, but with all of that, I see the good in people.”

Mayor Andy Schor will be conducting one on one interviews with Sosebee and Matson this week and expects to make a decision afterward.