Lansing police chief denies leaving job over investigation

By  | 

LANSING, MI. (WILX) -- Lansing's police chief is stepping down from his job. We caught up with Chief Michael Yankowski to find out why he's retiring.

Approaching 25 years at the police department, the chief said it was time and he needed to focus on his family.

"When you're not home for 10 years that takes a toll on the family. All this is done with me going through the journey. It's a process and that process got me to a point where I saw the fact that I was not home," Yankowski said.

He said this decision was 100% his own and Mayor Andy Schor did not ask him to step down or retire.

Many question the timing of the announcement, which is in the middle of an investigation into whether two Lansing police officers properly handled an arrest of a 16-year-old runaway.

Just last month, Yankowski was up for the same job in Grand Rapids, but later took his name out of the running in the midst of the investigation.

The chief adamantly denied his retirement and the investigation have anything to do with each other and refused to talk about the investigation further.

"I want to be clear that my decision to retire from the Lansing Police Department is based on the fact that I'm 25 years in and that I miss my family. Period. My family misses me and I owe it to them to spend more time with them at this point in my life...I don't know what else to say here. This is very upsetting to me."

It was at this point, the chief removed his microphone and stepped away from the camera's view.

Off camera, he continued, "We're not here to talk about investigations. Period. When we're ready to talk about a completed investigation, I will."

The chief added that he doesn't know if the investigation will be complete before his last day on July 31.

Copyright 2019 WILX. All rights reserved.