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Troopers graduate from trooper recruit school

N-MSP-grads-webMichigan 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.


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Michigan State Police Adds 12 Canine Teams


Replacement Canine School Graduates

Replacement Canine School Graduates

Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue is pleased to announce that Michigan citizens will soon benefit from the services of 12 canine teams, including eight new teams and four replacement teams, who graduated from the MSP 2013 Basic Canine School.

This graduating class brings the total number of MSP canine teams to 49, which is an historic high for the department. The MSP Canine Unit responds to approximately 5,600 calls annually making it one of the largest and busiest in the country.

The Basic Canine School is a 14-week intense training program conducted in-house by veteran MSP Canine Unit members. The handlers and their canines covered more than 100 miles on foot during the training, which covered subjects including tracking, narcotics detection, building search, area search, property search, obedience and aggression. Additionally, the handlers received more than 100 hours of classroom instruction.

These teams will join other Canine Unit team members who are strategically placed throughout the state for calls for service. The unit also provides services in explosive detection, accelerant detection, cadaver detection and the tactical entry dog program, which provides services to the MSP Emergency Support Team.

The MSP Canine Unit was established in 1960. All of the unit’s canines are German shepherds due to the breed’s ability to handle the various functions and stress with intelligent problem-solving abilities and a high work drive. The MSP’s canines retire to their handler or another loving person’s home after working eight years.

A replacement team is where a veteran handler trains with a new partner to replace a retiring canine. The four recently retired canines reside with their handlers.

The last Basic Canine School graduation was in August 2012 when five new teams graduated.

The graduates include:

Basic Canine School Graduates

Tpr. Bryon Bierema, Hank, Fifth District Headquarters

Tpr. Ben Bordner, Smoke, Eighth District Headquarters

Tpr. Kyle Kelley, Bach, Seventh District Headquarters;

Tpr. Denis McGuckin, Jax, Tri-City Post

Tpr. Jereme Miller, Dakota, Coldwater Post

Tpr. Nolan Przybylo, Hondo, Metro Post

Tpr. Michael Sinke, Murph, Fifth District Headquarters

Tpr. Benjamin Sonstrom, Otto, Second District Headquarters


Replacement Canine School Graduates

Tpr. Michael Bush, Shep, Rockford Post

Tpr. Kris Mikowski, Ammo, Cadillac Post

Tpr. Joel Service, Pitch, Niles Post

Tpr. John Sholtz, Enzo, Lapeer Post

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Congratulations to the New Beginnings High School Class of 2012!!

Front Row: Jamie Mosher, Ashlee TenHopen, Nicole Sheeley, Stephanie Ochodnicky, Autumn Thoma, Molly Stiehl, Brittney Leghorn. 2nd Row: Levi Price, Noah Cousar, James Farnsworth, Jesse Mansfield, Landon Eadie. 3rd Row: Josh Rouse, Cody Price, Tim Corwin, Matthew Marlatt. 4th Row: Enrique Cantu, Austin Breen, Garrett Evans, Cor’deil Boyce-Burden, Austin Mosher. 5th Row: Michael Shuff, Kody VanLangen, David VanEtten, Daniel Kearns, Jeffrey Knapp, Eddie Trout. Not Pictured: Bryce Kukla, Austin Hull, Shaman Osburn.

Thursday, May 24 New Beginnings High School held their Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2012. This was the largest Commencement Ceremony for New Beginnings High School with 32 graduates. Cedar Springs Public Schools has one of the most rigorous educational curriculums and these graduates persevered through it. Principal Dave Schlump was joined by Superintendent Ron McDermed, Board of Education President Brook Nichols, Board of Education Vice President Joe Marckini, Board Members Jeff Gust and Shannon Vanderhyde along with the New Beginnings High School Staff to recognize and celebrate the accomplishment these graduates.

Thank you to Band Director Adam Borst and the five members of the Cedar Springs High School Band, Jacob Gust, Jacob Ploeg, Andrea Metzger, Denver Satterwhite and Richard Moore, for their special music performance during the Commencement Ceremony.

A sincere thank you to the New Beginnings High School teachers Mrs. Helenius, Mrs. Wilcox, Mrs. Niederer, Mr. Jackson and to Principal Dave Schlump for all their hard work and late hours helping each of these students achieve this prestigious honor of graduation.

Congratulations Class of 2012!

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