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Lawrence names new police chief as Gary Woodruff enters retirement from role

Posted at 1:03 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 13:03:54-04

LAWRENCE — Beginning Monday, the city of Lawrence has a new police chief.

As chief Gary Woodruff approaches retirement from the position, Mayor Steve Collier has appointed Curtis Bigsbee has appointed as the new chief of police.

“I believe the time is right to step aside, and for a new Chief to assume leadership of the department,” Woodruff said in a release. “I have discussed this transition with Mayor Collier, and he has accepted my decision. Chief Bigsbee delivers much needed renewed energy to our department, while ensuring we maintain critical continuity moving forward. Chief Bigsbee is a proven leader who is exceptionally well-suited to lead LPD as we continue meeting the challenges law enforcement agencies face in today’s environment."

Bigsbee has served as LPD Deputy Chief of Police for the last ten years. He has also served as Operations & Administrative Division Commander.

After joining LPD in 2005, Bigsbee served as a patrol officer in Operations, and as a detective in Investigations. He is a veteran of the Indiana Army National Guard serving from 1997-2005, including deploying overseas on a NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo.

Bigsbee is a 2016 graduate of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Leadership Academy. Chief Bigsbee has served the community by sitting on various boards and committees, and is currently appointed to the Marion County Emergency Services Agency board. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Finance, Management, & Human Resources from Marian University.

“Having worked closely with Chief Bigsbee since my election as Mayor, he has proven to be an exceptional leader. He is extraordinarily well-prepared to meet & exceed the expectations of our Chief. Chief Bigsbee’s integrity and commitment to the City of Lawrence is unparalleled and it is my great honor to appoint him as my Chief of Police,” Collier said.

“It is the honor of my career to be appointed as Chief of Police for the citizens of Lawrence. Among my top priorities is to engage our youth, while also focusing on community involvement, which I believe will assist in achieving our greatest goal of reducing crime along with improving the safety and the quality of life for all of our citizens,” Chief Bigsbee said.

Woodruff has agreed to continue in his role as Media Relations Chief, working alongside Chief Bigsbee and Mayor Collier.