New Ludington police chief puts emphasis on building relationships. 

June 19, 2020

New Ludington police chief puts emphasis on building relationships. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

LUDINGTON — Ludington Police Chief Timothy Kozal believes policing is about getting to know people and building relationships. 

“I am really big on what I call non-traditional contacts,” he said. “I want the police department to be out there, making contact with the public daily, not just in a time of emergency or when there is a crime committed, but for everyday occurrences, such as helping someone change a tire or shovel an elderly person’s driveway. I want the officers to visit the stores just to say hi. I want the officers to help serve lunches at the schools and the senior center. I am encouraging officers to park their vehicles and walk around neighborhoods and downtown.” 

Kozal became chief on May 7, following the retirement of Mark Barnett. He praised Barnett for his 19 years of service to Ludington. “Chief Barnett has left behind a legacy. This department is where it’s at today because of his leadership. The way they handle investigations and their proactiveness is spot on. I am always looking at improving, you always have to see what you can do to improve what you did yesterday.”

Kozal said another way the officers will build relationships with the community is by hosting neighborhood pop-up parties. He said the police department is hoping to make arrangements with city councilors about setting up community gatherings in each ward.

Kozal, 52, previously served three years as public safety director for the City of Manistee. Prior to that he served as director of public safety in Edwardsburg. He worked for the Kalamazoo Department of Safety for 22 years. Kozal and his wife have two adult daughters.

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