Det. Gordy Lauren Is On The Case

Two years ago, Jason Faraj walked into a Lowell business and smooth-talked his way into writing a check to pay for thousands of dollars in merchandise. Then, the check bounced, and Faraj disappeared.

In some communities, the incident might have ended with a police report taken and nothing more. However, Faraj picked the wrong city for this crime,

“I think some people don’t realize we have a detective here,” says Det. Gordy Lauren of the Lowell Police Department. In smaller towns without a detective, a case of a bad check may have gone uninvestigated. But not in Lowell.

Lauren spent hours tracking Faraj down. Eventually, he was able to connect with law enforcement agencies across the country who were looking for the same person for similar crimes.

When all the pieces were connected, it was determined the man had swindled more than $100,000 from small businesses in states ranging from Florida to Wisconsin. Lauren’s work helped bring Faraj to justice, and he was ordered to pay restitution in the Lowell case. “He is probably still bouncing from jail to jail,” Lauren says, noting that charges were issued in multiple states and jurisdictions.

Lauren says he loves the thrill of the chase and being able to bring criminals to justice. After more than 13 years on the force, he is an integral part of the Lowell Police Department and says is happy to have found a home here.

Movies Spurred Move to Lowell

Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula, Lauren’s family has deep roots in public service. He long thought he’d like to be a police officer, but as he entered adulthood, the timing wasn’t right.

“Right when I graduated, it was when the Grand Rapids Police Department would have five openings and 1,500 applicants,” he recalls.

So he shifted gears and looked elsewhere for work. He found it as a movie theater manager in the Upper Peninsula. When his company announced they needed a manager for their new location in Lowell – the Ada Lowell 5 – Lauren volunteered for the role. Single at the time, moving to a new part of the state was an adventure he could easily undertake.

That was in the early 2000s. Lauren met and married his wife in the following years, and the couple now have two teens at home. However, Lauren continued to feel the call to join law enforcement. He eventually left the theater to pursue that dream and spent two years with the Kent County Sherriff Department before joining the Lowell Police Department in 2009.

Proactive Policing in Lowell

After a few years with the department, Lauren was promoted to the rank of detective.

“The detective position here is like a supervisor position,” he explains. Lauren has some administrative duties, such as scheduling, to complete in addition to tracking down criminals. He also serves as the department’s court liaison and works with the crime lab.

Currently, Lauren splits his time between being a detective and being a patrol officer, but he is hopeful that the department will eventually add another member. That would allow him to focus on detective work full-time.

“Right now, we have a better turnaround than other departments,” Lauren says. However, he doesn’t have as much time as he’d like to do what he terms “proactive policing.” That would include surveillance for breaking and entering and drug cases or meeting with business owners to help them improve security measures and avoid fraud.

Helping Out in a Small Town

Being part of a small community has its advantages when it comes to policing, according to Lauren. “It’s easier for us to know when something is not right,” he says.

Echoing the words of other Lowell police officers, Lauren says he loves the job for the opportunity to help people out. It can be challenging at times, but it’s rewarding to be able to help someone who is in crisis and has nowhere else to turn.

A nice fringe benefit is the positive interactions police often have with younger members of the community. “The little kids think you’re a rockstar,” Lauren says. And officers do their best to recognize and chat with local children.

Lauren remembers one occasion, a few years back, when a mom called the police department to say her child was new to the community and having a difficult time adjusting to school. She was looking for a way to help him break the ice with his new classmates, and an officer volunteered to drive him to school in a cruiser one day.

It’s those sorts of little things that makes Lauren happy to be in Lowell, and Lowell happy to have the Lowell Police Department at its service.

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