We received the following press release from the City of Lowell.
Lowell, Michigan, March 25, 2022 – The city of Lowell today announced changes in the Lowell Police Department, including the promotion of Detective Gordy Lauren to sergeant.
In his new leadership role, Lauren will be responsible for supervising patrol officers and other members of the police department in the performance of their duties. He will also handle administrative matters and personnel issues, take a lead role in training and performance evaluations and help keep the department up to date on regulatory and other changes.
Lauren joined the Lowell Police Department in 2009 as a patrol officer. He has served as a detective for six years.
“I’m pleased to promote Gordy into this new leadership role,” Police Chief Chris Hurst said. “He has been an exemplary officer with us for more than a decade and is well-deserving of this promotion.”
Lauren replaces Scot VanSolkema, who was demoted to patrol officer after an internal investigation following 2021 trespassing and other complaints from Forest Hills Central High School that resulted in criminal charges being filed. As a result of the investigation, VanSolkema was also suspended without pay for 14 days, which equates to a month’s time for the department. He faces an additional month suspension and is unable to reapply for the sergeant position for four years.
The investigative report read, in part, that “the efficient operation of this Department depends on close relationships with the public brought out through trust in our officers.” Yet VanSolkema’s “actions jeopardize that trust” and his “repeated lapses of judgment and indifference to lawful directives have reflected poorly on (him) and this Department.”
City Manager Mike Burns echoed this and noted: “I fully support our chief’s decision on this matter. Scot served on the executive team for the Lowell Police Department and, as a leader, was held to a higher standard that he repeatedly failed to recognize. His actions have been embarrassing and done a serious disservice to his badge and to our department.”
VanSolkema joined the department in 2004 and had served as sergeant since 2020.