LOWELL, Mich. — A Lowell police sergeant has been demoted to patrol officer after an internal investigation by the department into accusations he trespassed on school property.
Lowell officials announced on Friday that Scot VanSolkema has been demoted to patrol officer following an internal investigation into a trespassing complaint from Forest Hills Central High School.
The complaint resulted in criminal charges being filed.
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According to officials, VanSolkema was also suspended with pay for 14 days. The city says VanSolkema faces an additional month suspension. He is also unable to reapply for the position of sergeant 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.”
VanSolkema joined the Lowell Police Department in 2004 and has been a sergeant since 2020.
Detective Gordy Lauren has been promoted to sergeant in replace of VanSolkema. Laren has been with the department since 2009 and has served as a detective for six years.
“I’m pleased to promote Gordy into this new leadership role,” Chief Chris Hurst said. “He has been an exemplary officer with us for more than a decade and is well-deserving of this promotion.”
City Manager Mike Burns said, “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.”