The Utility family would like to recognize the invaluable impact made by Chief David Hofmann of the Lawrence IN Police (LPD) during his recent retirement. The Chief’s last day in office was Friday, January 28th, 2022, after over 20 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Indiana. Our team reflects fondly on the Chief’s contributions and time spent with him upon his well-deserved retirement.
An Exceptional LEO
Like most police officers, Chief Hofmann started his career in the force patrolling for the Indianapolis Police Department in 1997. As time progressed, he steadily advanced through the ranks. His Law Enforcement knowledge, leadership training, and dedication to innocent victims quickly positioned him as the ideal choice for the Chief of Lawrence Police Department position in 2016. Brian Churchill, (Retired Manitou Springs CO Chief Of Police) who previously worked alongside Hofmann, recalls the pivotal moment he believed launched Hofmann as the ideal choice.
“A homicide [had occurred], just an innocent honest victim walking down the sidewalk gets shot. Dave, the District Commander for the South West District of Indianapolis Police Department [at the time], says he is not gonna put up with this. He got the commander van and set up shop with the media in the parking lot at the intersection where this homicide happened for days. It got so much national attention they did a television show on it.” Instances such as this showed his caring nature and made it clear to all how dedicated he was to the cause. Hofmann’s persistence eventually led to a tip to the perpetrator’s arrest providing justice to the victim’s family.
An Inspiring Chief of Police
Hofmann continued to set himself apart once he assumed his position as Lawrence Chief of Police in 2016 by giving the department a complete refresh. Mark Osborn (Retired Captain at LPD) recalled, “When I met Dave Hofmann, the department had experienced nearly ten chiefs during that time frame. Dave Hofmann arrived at Lawrence Police as an outsider. His transition to chief was without the typical dismantling of leadership. When he announced there would be no command staff changes, everyone was in shock. He chose to build relationships with those already in place and it was appreciated by all. This was unlike the approach of any chief before him”.
He made it his mission to lead by example, always mentoring those around him providing leadership and oversight of the department’s totality of operations. It was clear he was different from day one treating all officers fairly with a genuine concern for their wellbeing. “He made those around him become better people and better police officers,” Osborn confirmed. According to WRTV Indianapolis, he advocated for constructing a state of the art police headquarters building, training facility, and 911 Dispatch Center, which opened in 2019 after 90 years.“The first stand-alone Police Station in the City of Lawrence was built under his leadership. It was a grand Police Station, and there was no one prouder than he of the finished product.”
An Active Community Member
The Lawrence community admired his leadership qualities and dedication to the community and quickly embraced Hofmann. “When he spoke to the media, he represented our department as a strong, well-spoken, confident leader. He was kind and caring to the public and they knew he was always approachable. Strong community relations were developed under Dave Hofmann,” Osborn recalled in deep admiration.
The Chief’s approachable personality allowed him to easily establish command when needed as well as maintain great relations within his department and community. “Dave is the biggest people person. He’s outgoing, he’s one of those guys everyone likes. No one has a bad word to say about Dave Hofmann and that’s because of his personality. He let you know he cares about you, and he wants to help.” Churchill confirmed. Hofmann exemplified what it meant to be an effective Chief putting those around him at ease, often showing his more relaxed and playful side. “He wasn’t afraid to have fun! He was able to show his warm and humanside like when he participated in The Nationwide Police lip sync challenge on Youtube with the Lawrence Police Department ” Churchill shared.
A Visionary in the Body Camera Industry
Hofmann is seen as a trailblazer by the Utility team. He is recognized as one of the Early Adopters of Utility Inc.’s BodyWorn camera systems in 2017 with the goal of improving transparency and accountability in his community. The Chief graciously participated in Utility’s Coffee Talk webinar where he emphasized the importance and benefits of their use. Jason Dombkowski (Retired Police Chief for the City Of West Lafayette, IN) acknowledged his progressive nature saying, “Chief Hofmann was a visionary in recognizing very early on that Utility, Inc. BodyWorn is a unique Body-Worn Camera (BWC) solution that also provided a situational awareness and DEM platform.”.
Chief David Hofmann is identified as a key player in advancing Utility’s BodyWorn camera technology. In an effort to constantly improve officer and citizen safety, his department actively collaborated with the Utility team providing valued feedback on the police body camera technology. Hofmann brilliantly suggested the addition of automatic bodycam and in-vehicle camera activation. This suggestion lead to the implementation of Utility’s CAD activation system which features automatic body cam recordings revolutionizing the body camera industry.
He was adamant that implementing an Advanced Body Worn Camera System would shed light upon the exceptional and professional work of the nearly 90 officers under his command. The Chief collaborated with the producers of the reality television show Live PD, allowing millions of American viewers a real-time unedited ride along with the officers of LPD. Hofmann’s forward thinking brought national recognition to LPD and changed the way the citizens viewed their Law Enforcement officers entirely.
The Chief’s vision and leadership in the BWC space set the pace in Indiana and beyond. “Fast forward to 2022 where we have over 50 law enforcement agencies utilizing the BodyWorn ecosystem in Indiana and it all began with one chief’s willingness to be bold and forward-thinking rather than simply pushing the easy button” Dombkowski continued.
Chief David Hofmann has proven to be one of the most admired chiefs in Central Indiana. The Utility Inc. family wishes Chief David Hofmann a well-deserved retirement and wishes him all the best with his new adventures!
City of Lawrence Indiana, Chief David Hofmann to Retire from LPD 2022
Police 1 By Lexipol, How partnering with a police department helped improve body-worn camera technology 2019
Police Technology experience, Speaker: Chief Dave Hofmann Chief of Police | City of Lawrence Police Department 2020
Utility Inc, Utility’s Coffee Talk Series with Chief Hofmann 2021
Utility Inc., Lawrence Police Department implements body cameras, ‘game changer’ on the streets 2017
WISH-TV, Lawrence Police Department Lip Sync 2018
Meredith Barack, WRTV Indianapolis Lawrence Police Department getting its own station after 90 years 2018