2018-05-12 / Top News

Police Chief Lawrence Horn Values Community Partnerships

By Jacob A. Ball


At right: Mackinac Island Chief of Police Lawrence Horn. At right: Mackinac Island Chief of Police Lawrence Horn. Building community partnerships to solve problems is the goal of Lawrence Horn as he takes on the role of Mackinac Island police chief. He looks forward to developing the community’s connections to the police department through one-on-one engagement. He strives to treat people with the dignity and respect that he expects from others and will see that every member of the department respects people’s rights. He plans to be personally involved in community events and will encourage his officers to do the same.

Mr. Horn was sworn into the job March 1.

Citizens have welcomed him warmly, but he understands that some may be skeptical of anyone joining their community. He wants to build trust and assure people that he is here for them, and he anticipates taking an active role in the daily duties of his department.

Many of the recent problems surrounding police across the country could be improved with better education for the public, Chief Horn said. Details provided by the police on their procedures in the aftermath of any incident are necessary to calm concerns, and he plans to do this as much as possible. He also hopes to open some training exercises to the public, which will include water rescue training this summer. With information, he says, comes positive changes in attitudes toward the police.

While police presence will be maintained downtown, he wants officers to patrol the outlying areas, too, including places people like to explore, such as the lakeshore and trails. He wants the police to be more visible and available to everyone and keep unlawful behavior to a minimum. The department will also be more involved in first aid this summer, and he wants the public to be aware of first aid supplies at the station.

Frequent visits to the Island have given him some familiarity with the community here, and he is impressed with the high quality of the police department. He has appreciated the insights offered to him by three year-around policemen, Corporal Ken Hardy, Corporal Andy Dziobak, and Officer Cory Kaminen, that have been invaluable.

“Their experience and years here have helped me to understand what is normal and how special challenges are handled,” he said.

The experience Mr. Horn brings to the department includes addressing counterterrorism measures, alcohol and substance abuse, and criminal sexual conduct. He said the department’s focus for the summer is “to ensure a high level of safety and security for the tourist population, while still providing quality police service to our yeararound residents.”

Originally from Williamston, Mr. Horn held his first job in law enforcement there, and worked overseas training national police forces in Afghanistan, Haiti, and Jordan before returning to police work in Michigan. His time oversees has exposed him to diverse cultures and norms that will be a benefit when assisting summer visitors. He wants the police to improve their engagement with the large population of international workers on the Island. He said that he has come to understand the mistrust that some cultures have for the police, but he wants to make sure that everyone on Mackinac Island knows they can trust police officers who are there to help them and keep them safe. During the summer, he wants officers to be speaking with all the people they see on their patrols, and he will do the same.

He wants the police to be regularly present and involved at Mackinac Island Public School to serve as positive examples, offer support to the children, and ensure their constant safety and security. At the school, he wants to begin with mentorship, and include attention to students’ safety and security. He hopes the students will view him as someone to trust, similar to a teacher, so they can confide in him, if needed. Mr. Horn has been trained as a detective and has extensive experience dealing with child neglect and abuse. The relationship between the police and the children must be informal at times. For example, Chief Horn participated in the spring cleanup at the school Monday, April 30, so that he could spend some time with the children outside his official duties. He hopes that through positive interactions with police officers as children, they will grow up with more trust of law enforcement.

He says that his success as chief will be largely dependent on how the community views the department, and how all the officers, including himself, conduct themselves on and off-duty.

Off duty, Mr. Horn enjoys exercising, cooking, and art. Last summer he attempted sailing, but he still needs more instruction to master it. He looks forward to kayaking this summer and getting to know more of the community.

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