WEDNESDAY, June 24 — The chairman of the city of Lansing’s Board of Police Commissioners has resigned after members of the City Council questioned his decision to limit public comment at board meetings.
Tonight’s board meeting was postponed following the chairman, former LPD Officer Drew Macon, quit unexpectedly.
Macon, who was a road patrol officer for several years before 2011, was appointed to the board in 2012. He sent his letter of resignation to Lansing Mayor Andy Schor yesterday for a term that would have otherwise expired in June 2021.
The letter arrived on the eve of a planned board “community meeting” tonight to discuss — and take public comment on — the Police Department’s existing policies on responses to resistance and officer use of force. That meeting, originally slated for 5:30 p.m., was canceled earlier today.
“This decision comes with a heavy heart,” Macon wrote. “Over the past 7 years, I have spent countless hours working with my fellow board members, and countless days and nights working on board business. During this time, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve this city while at times sacrificing other areas of my life, most importantly time spent with my family.”
Police departments across the country have faced a growing call for divestment and reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last month. Lansing cops are no exception.
Macon also faced criticism from the public — and the City Council — this week after a press release from the Police Department noted that only 15 speakers would be allowed to give public comment during the meeting. Questions were raised about an apparent unwillingness to listen.
City officials have since told City Pulse that those meetings will continue without Macon and they will no longer be limited to 15 speakers. Upcoming community meetings to review police policies with the board are tentatively slated for the evenings of July 8 and 22 and Aug. 19.
“I spoke with Commissioner Macon this morning and he indicated to me that the time commitment as a volunteer on this board is too much, and that he needs to focus on his job and spend more time with his family,” Schor said today in a statement. “As such, he has chosen to resign. I respect his decision and greatly appreciate all that he has done for the City of Lansing.”
Macon’s departure could leave two vacancies on the Police Board of Commissioners at the end of this month when at-large commissioner Robert Noordhoerk’s term expires on June 30. At least one mayoral appointment to the board is pending approval from the Lansing City Council.