Next Meeting:

When:  Friday, November 4, 2022
Where:  Lansing Community College, Michigan Room 
Speaker:   Satish Udpa, University Distinguished Profess of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Topic:  Autonomous Vehicles
Chair of the Day:   Dan Aylward
Reflection:  Todd Gute
Editarian:   Pam Miklavcic
Chair of the Month:  Dan Aylward
Lansing Foundation 
The Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation is the 501C3 charitable arm of our Rotary Club.  Please keep the Foundation in mind as you may 
be considering your Estate Plan and look for an organization (s) you would consider supporting.  Our Foundation supports Local and International Grants as well as periodic Signature and Community Impact Grants.  Thank you, 
Join a Committee!
Lansing Rotary Club Committees
Are you looking for a way to become more involved in Rotary? Would you like to get to know more Lansing Rotarians? Joining a committee is a great opportunity! Here is a list of upcoming committee meetings – each group is welcoming new members!
PR/Public Image Committee will be meeting immediately following the November 4 lunch meeting. Please join the meeting if you want to help promote the Lansing Rotary Club and share our good works with the community. Questions? Contact Parker Sessa at
Membership/DEI Committee will be meeting on November 14 at noon. Join this group to help expand our Club with new members, as well as retain and engage our current members – all while working to improve the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion of the Rotary Club of Lansing. Questions? Contact Kevin Schumacher at
Special Projects/Service Committee is just getting started with planning quarterly “hands-on projects” that benefit our community and demonstrate Rotary’s commitment to Service Above Self. If you would like to help plan and work on these projects, please contact Jason Brunette at
Editarian Report for October 21, 2022
After wonderful lunching music by Hari Kern, President Courtney called our meeting to order promptly at 12:30. We began by reciting the 4 Way Test. Julie Pingston shared a very appropriate reflection that was an adaptation of An Officer’s Blessing. Our patriotic song, accompanied by Hari Kern, was “God Bless America”.
Travis Stoliker assisted with the introduction of guests, beginning with his wife, Laken Stoliker, who was visiting us for the second time. Bob Hoffman introduced Saeed Jafaei and Eric Olmscheid, the new Executive Director of the Wharton Center.
President Courtney presented red badges to our newest members – Lorri Jandron-Rishar (a returning member), Saeed Jafaei and Bilky Joda-Miller.
Our continued series featuring recipients of our Foundation grants brought us Lynn Brenckle, introduced by Anne Cauley. Lynn is Executive Director of The Arc of Mid-Michigan, an organization with a mission to empower people with developmental disabilities in Shiawassee, Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties to participate in and be fully included in the community.
The Arc of Mid-Michigan is mostly a one person show, although Lynn does have two assistants and lots of volunteers. They do not receive any state or federal grants, so our grant for educational advocacy is very important. Lynn is the organization’s sole advocate, and she works with parents at no charge. After thanking us for our grant, Lynn explained that she does not provide legal advocacy, but rather works with parents to help them promote development of appropriate educational and services plan. As a summary of her typical activities, Lynn shared that from March through spring she had 178 parent/guardian contacts, 13 meetings, 3 mediation hearings, 3 manifestation reviews, 1 suspension hearing and 1 expulsion hearing, as well as a few other items that I didn’t have time to note! 75% of the families she assisted were in 75% in Ingham County.
President Courtney announced that international grant applications are due on October 31st. Following our meeting on November 4th, the PR committee will meet. If you are interested in helping this effort, please plan to stay after that meeting. The Service Projects committee met before today’s meeting, led by Jason Brunette. If you would like to be part of this committee, please see Jason.
After letting us know that the health of the club is good, President Courtney introduced Dave Trumpie, Chair of the Month and Chair of the Day to introduce our speaker, Robert Backus, Assistant Chief of Police.
Robert is originally from Mason and attended both LCC and MSU. He began volunteering with the Lansing Police Department at the age of 15, became a recruit in 1999 and an officer in 2000. He had always wanted to be a police officer.
The department currently has 17 vacancies and expects to lose 30 officers over the next 3 years. It has been a challenge to find candidates and fill positions and there is a huge push to recruit new officers. There are programs to mentor young people who are interested in a career in Law Enforcement. If you know young people who are interested, refer them to LPD.
The FBI recently released statistics on crime rates and Lansing did not fare well. It is important to remember when looking at the data, that not all communities report. LPT automatically sends all reports to the State voluntarily. The State shares that data with the FBI.
Violent crime is very different from the last 25 years. As recently as 2018, Lansing experienced more property crime than anything else. In 2021, the largest upward trend is in violent crime. This is both a concern and a priority for the department.
LPD is a data driven department, looking closely at what dominates the pattern of crimes. Examining the data – what people are behind the crime, as well as locations, time, and days – dictates how units are deployed.
It is clear that there is more to do than what the police are responsible for, so the department has brought in social workers. They were one of the first departments to bring a full-time social worker on staff. Two more quickly followed and social workers are now available 7 days/week approximately 20 hours/day. A social worker can be deployed with officers when the 911 operator determines that is appropriate. If not initially deployed, an officer can request that a social worker be deployed. Consideration is also given to determining the appropriate police response. An officer may not be the best response to a 911 call. East Lansing is experimenting with citizen response to some calls and LPD will be watching to see what they can learn from these responses. Police can’t stand alone as the answer to crime. Many other organizations are involved, including the Department of Corrections, prosecutors, ATF, FBI and MSP. LPS can and will work with anybody to address these crimes.
Moving forward, the department has received a federal grant to add additional social workers who will be paired with officers full time to address root causes of violent crime.
There is a focus on solving non-fatal shootings through Project Case Closed. These cases are hard to solve. This project will look at those cases, how the department is operating, and what should be implemented to increase the closing rate.
There is also a focus on evidence-based policing. If something is not shown to be effective, stop doing it and focus on those things that are effective.
A real time crime center is operated and will soon have a better, expanded camera system. Cameras help response and serve as a deterrent. There are 6 crime analysts – up from 2 – who work to identify patterns. They can monitor cameras in real time. Fast response is critical and will lead to solving more crimes.
The recent officer involved shooting – the first under this chief – is important to the force and has the potential to be polarizing. The department hired a new PIO about 6 months ago from the media world. The PIO understands communicating to media and the community. This allowed the department to push out information more quickly and has made this event less polarizing than it could have been.
There is a millage on the Lansing ballot to provide funds for a new building for LPD and court system. Many voters are asking why this is an issue now. It is a buildup over 10 years. LPD currently operates out of Harry Hill and needs to be more centrally located. Current facilities do not adequately address the needs of both male and female officers. For example, there are men’s restrooms on every floor, but women’s restrooms are only on two floors. Women’s locker rooms are also inadequate for current needs.
Not surprisingly, Rotarians had several excellent questions, leading to the following additional points:
African Americans account for 17% of the force. City wide, African Americans account for mid-20%. The force wants to match the community and is actively trying to recruit locally to increase the African American representation on the force.

How prevalent are cameras? While no additional information was provided regarding city owned cameras, we did learn of a program called Scram. Under this program, you can let LPD know that you have a camera. If there is a crime in your neighborhood, LPD will contact you to see if you have any footage that can assist them. 95% of successful homicide investigations involve citizen cameras.

There are programs designed to reach out to students who may be interested in a Law Enforcement career. Explorers is run by 4 LPD officers. Schools administer career interest surveys and share names of interested students with LPD who can contact them.  Word of mouth is also very important, as is the GREAT program in the schools, which introduces a positive mentor to kids.

There is no backlog of sexual assault kits in Lansing. DNA from these kits is on file, allowing potential matches to individuals who may be arrested for current crimes.  

The city is divided into sectors with someone responsible person for each one. Data is monitored weekly for status. Sectors report as green or red; red gets corrective action.

Responses are coordinated with fire and EMT. Sometimes the police must transport an individual because restrictions and licensing issues do not allow transport by fire or EMT.

All officers have body cameras, and all vehicles have fleet cameras that show the outside and back seat. This means there can be a lot of videos. There were 89 videos sent to MSP for the recent officer involved shooting.

Successful officers need to have life experiences, know how to communicate, can build rapport with average people, and establish trust. Interactions with the public are frequently under scrutiny in court and show which officers excel at these skills. Body cameras eliminate a lot of scrutiny in court.

Regarding the difficulty in solving non-fatal shooting cases, officers find it hard to get sufficient evidence. Witnesses don’t cooperate and many victims do not see themselves as a victim.

Regarding rallies that occur at the Capitol, MSP is not the point for anything that is not on the Capitol grounds. LPD typically takes the approach of managing the traffic that a rally brings and lets the rally happen and then dissipate. Each rally is evaluated to determine the proper response.

Lansing does not have a typical gang structure like Chicago. Primarily, there are groups of friends who go out and do bad things, but without the loyalty that characterizes a gang structure. The groups shift from week to week and there is no animosity between groups to speak of. Sometimes there are fights and unfortunately those fights involve guns and not fists lately. Schools track group relationships and function as violence interrupters.

President Courtney thanked Robert for speaking to us and let him know that we would be making a gift in his honor to our Foundation. Next week, we will have a social gathering from 4:30 – 6 at Lansing Brewing and no Friday meeting. October birthdays will be celebrated there.

On that note, our meeting was adjourned.
Linda Lynch's email is: 
Nov 04, 2022
"Autonomous Vehicles from MSU"
Nov 11, 2022
"The Cut"
Nov 17, 2022
at Lansing Brewing Company, 518 Shiawassee
Nov 25, 2022
View entire list
Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156
Meeting Responsibilities
October Birthday Chair
Geoghegan, Brenda
Chair of the Month
Trumpie, Dave
Martin, Meghan
Whitney, Barb
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