With a family history of law enforcement and a strong desire for building community, becoming chief of police at the Michigan City Police Department is a calling Steven Forker has passionately embraced. While he now believes that being chief is exactly what he is meant to do, serving in this position was not always on his radar.
“I'm excited to serve as the chief of police in Michigan City, but it’s nothing I really imagined myself doing; I kind of fell into this role. It has given me an opportunity to surround myself with good people involved in the community,” Forker said. “Ultimately, we just want to make this a safe, prosperous community where we can have positive relationships between the police community to make this a great place to live and to grow your family.”
Growing up in New Buffalo, MI, Forker was no stranger to Michigan City, IN, and even played rocket football in the city he now proudly serves and protects. Combining his love for community, love for sports, and previous experience as a school resource officer, Forker has coached in Michigan City and La Porte for the past 23 years.
Over those 23 years, he has coached “his kids” as well as his son and daughter in football, basketball, and baseball. Through coaching, he is able to mentor and encourage student-athletes in sports and in life. He has also instilled a sense of community in his student-athletes by having them volunteer as a group for Salvation Army, yard cleanups, and other service opportunities.
“I think once you do a few of those volunteer activities, you have more self-worth. I’ve never felt bad walking away from volunteering or doing something that has a good impact and helped somebody out that needed assistance,” Forker said. “Any time we can instill that kind of self-worth into our young men and women, it makes the world a better place.”
While being an active member of the community is important wherever people live, Forker feels that his community is truly special. His favorite part about the Michigan City area is the diversity and how it strengthens the community overall.
“We have such a diverse community. Everybody brings something more to the table, and embracing that diversity—those different opinions, those different trains of thought—helps make our community more well-rounded. Bringing together diverse individuals within the police department creates a well-rounded police force,” Forker said.
If Forker could share a piece of advice with anyone, he would encourage people to surround themselves with great people.
“I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with great people whether it’s at work or at home,” he said. “If you have people you can count on when things get tough or things go awry, you’ll be able to get through anything.”
Forker feels fortunate to have found those great people in his family and in his friends. He enjoys going camping in state parks with his family as well as hiking and fishing.