Lieutenant Steve Kellogg is the Public Information Officer and the Training Coordinator for the Hammond Police Department. Northwest Indiana native serving his community, a great father to his son, Cal, and a magician on the side.
Kellogg grew up in Michigan City, where he went to the now disbanded Elston High School. In high school, he started to become more and more involved in both police work and magic.
“When I was in high school. I attended a career camp through the Indiana State Police Department. I had so much fun learning and marching and having authority and discipline and seeing the programs,” he explained. “I attended the camp two years in a row. I really wanted to become a police officer.”
He went home one night after the camp and said, “Mom, I’m going to college.”
He received a degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University and ended up finding a job in the Hammond Police Department.
“I was thrilled with it, and I never looked back for a second. It was honestly the best decision for a place to work. It’s a great place to work,” he said.
He’s been with the department for 21 years, starting off with patrol work for the first three years.
“I started doing training when I had three years in the PD and they asked if anyone was interested in being a defense tactics instructor. I had no idea what I was in for, but I wanted to be involved in my new job,” he said. “I put my name in, and I was the only one to put my name in at the time.”
Kellogg loved the new responsibilities, the tasers, and the new instructor certifications he enrolled in, allowing him to take even more things on for the department.
Nowadays, you can find him leading hostage negotiation training, talking to the press, talking in classrooms, or out in the field leading training sessions. One of the things he’s proud of at the department is the training where officers are able to respond to real calls from the National Suicide Hotline.
“We answer suicide calls, but sometimes it’s people in different distress or didn’t know where to turn and are looking for help. That’s gone really well,” he said.
When not on duty, he spends a lot of his weekend performing magic shows. It’s a goofy comedy magic routine that is designed to make kids laugh hysterically, he explained.
He got into magic around the same time he got interested in police work.
“It was an accident. I was in high school, and I was in theatre, and a traveling theatre group and asked our director if they had anybody that wanted to be a mime. My friend and I decided to do it,” he said.
It didn’t go well.
“I hated every second of it and I hated making fun of people. In that traveling group was a magician and he would show me all of these tricks and it just blew my mind,” he said. “It was the first time I had anything to do with magic.”
When that mentor magician left the group, he taught Kellogg the trick he opens every show with, reminding him each time how it once fooled him so much to get him interested in this hobby. He started doing shows around the same time he became an officer.
“When I was working as security officer at Morton High School, I would always have a deck of cards in my pocket,” he said. “I did card tricks for the kids.” When a teacher at Morton invited him to perform a show at a classroom Christmas Party, he accepted, despite never having done a complete show.
“Looking back, it was a very bad magic show,” he joked “But I put together this 30-minute magic show, and I saw the reaction and the possibilities of what I could do with that.”
He’s never looked back. He’s gone on to perform at Pierogi Fest, the Lake and Porter County Fairs, and has built the show around the tricks that get the most laughs from his young audiences.
Kellogg loves to bring his son Cal to the shows.
“He loves them. When I’m not working, or doing magic we’re just out together, doing fun stuff,” he said. “He’s everything that really matters.”
His family lives in Valparaiso, and he enjoys spending time with Cal and his girlfriend Karin.
Be sure to say hello to Steve Kellogg if you see him around Hammond or performing magic tricks across Northwest Indiana!