New chief appointed at Lawrence Police Department


The City of Lawrence has a new police chief.

Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier announced May 22 that Deputy Chief Curtis Bigsbee will fill the position as Chief Gary Woodruff gets ready to retire. 

After nearly 40 years in law enforcement, Woodruff approached Collier about stepping aside as chief and recommended Bigsbee assume leadership of the department.

“I believe the time is right to step aside, and for a new chief to assume leadership of the department,” Woodruff stated. “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 deputy chief for the last 10 years. He also served as operations and administrative division commander. He joined the department in 2005 and 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 in Kosovo. 

Bigsbee is a 2016 graduate of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Leadership Academy. He has served on various boards and committees and serves on the Marion County Emergency Services Agency board. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, management and human resources from Marian University.

“Having worked closely with Chief Bigsbee since my election as mayor, he has proven to be an exceptional leader,” Collier stated. “He is extraordinarily well-prepared to meet and 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.”

Bigsbee said he is honored to serve in the new role. 

“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,” Bigsbee stated.

Until his retirement becomes official, Woodruff will continue in his role as media relations chief, working alongside Bigsbee and Collier.