Standing next to his mentor, Police Chief Teresa Szymanski, Captain Michael Yankowski was named the Lansing Police Department's interim chief. He says he is ready for the big job.
"I'm going to go back to the drawing board... look at a few things. How can we be more effective and efficient as a police department? Obviously, we've had some great leaders ahead of me, so I think we're in good shape," said Yankowski.
Yankowski is an 18 year veteran of the LPD. He has held a number of titles and has worked in with many departments including the canine unit, accident investigations unit, and neighborhood watch. He plans to utilize the LPD's new crime fighting approach, which uses data to find areas with frequent criminal activity.
"If you're committing crimes in the city of Lansing, and you're using guns along the way, we are going to be as hard as possible with the prosecutors and federal courts to get you behind bars. Gun violence is at the top of the list in terms of crimes we want to reduce," said Yankowski.
Yankowski was appointed by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. Many speculated about who Benero would choose. He said that there were a number of qualified candidates, but Yankowski came out on top.
"He's done a great job in our neighborhoods. He's built relationships over time. So I think he's the one. And clearly, I talked to the police commissioners, the chief, the former chief... Mike Yankowski is the man for the job," said Bernero.
Chief Szymanski officially retires on Saturday. That's when Captain Yankowski will take over.
"It's very bittersweet. It's been a wonderful, wonderful ride here at the Lansing Police Department and my whole career in law enforcement," said Szymanski.