Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue announced Monday that Michigan citizens will soon benefit from the services of 82 new troopers following the graduation of the 126th Trooper Recruit School. Governor Rick Snyder served as the keynote speaker at the May 30th ceremony.
“Michigan is committed to public safety and I am confident that the graduates of the Michigan State Police 126th Trooper Recruit School will uphold the highest standards as they protect our families,” Snyder said.
“We’re proud to salute our newest troopers and thank them for their courage, dedication and professionalism. We wish them all long, safe and fulfilling careers in the service of our great state.”
“Graduates as you accept the honor of becoming a Michigan State Police trooper, I ask that you embrace and appreciate the department’s 97-year tradition of providing service with excellence, integrity and courtesy,” stated Etue. “The department demands and the public deserves nothing less than your very best performance every day. You have a mission to serve and protect, and I expect you to keep sacred the public’s trust in you and in the department.”
Tpr. Steven Schutter, who was elected Class Orator by his fellow recruits, spoke on behalf of the graduating class. Other award recipients included Tpr. Timothy Madison who received the Team Building
Award and Outstanding Performance Award, Tpr. Brett Brice who received the Marksmanship Award and Tpr. Joel Perkins who received the Academic Achievement Award.
The 126th Trooper Recruit School began on Jan. 5, when 115 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy. For the past 21 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving.
In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview.
New this year, as part of the department’s commitment to “Providing Service With A Purpose,” the recruits participated in community outreach projects with the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing and at a YMCA camp in Williamston.
Graduating recruits will report to their respective MSP posts across the state for duty next week. Recruits from our area who graduated include Trooper William Pitsch, of Rockford, who will be stationed at the Gaylord Post; Trooper Dennis Nauta, of Greenville, who will be stationed at Lakeview; and Trooper Blake Bitner, also of Greenville, who will be stationed at Mt. Pleasant.
In the Sixth Districet, the Rockford Post welcomes Trooper Timothy O’Neill, of Metamora and Trooper Elizabeth Wickersham, of Rogers City. Besides Trooper Nauta, the Lakeview Post welcomes Trooper Timothy Moreno, of Taylor; Trooper Dharmesh Patel, of Dallas, Texas; and Steven Schutter, of Coldwater. Besides Trooper Bitner, the Mount Pleasant Post welcomes Trooper Benjamin Crooks, of Kendall; Trooper Dana Mattice II, of Gladwin; and Trooper William Schneider, of Eaton Rapids. The Hart Post welcomes Trooper Leanne de Waal Malefyt, of Hudsonville; Trooper Phillip Moore, of Macomb Township; Trooper Scott Shattuck Jr., of Lyons; and Trooper Kenneth Vander Laan, of Grand Rapids.
The MSP is actively recruiting; interested candidates should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information on how to apply.
The next trooper recruit school starts June 8.