Spending a day with MSP Troopers
Michigan has 29 State Police Posts across the state. Eight troopers, two desk sergeants, and one post commander are stationed at Michigan’s western-most post in Wakefield.
“We’re a full service police department, we’ll do traffic patrol safety, we’ll investigate crimes or all sorts,” Post Commander Donald Horn said. “We also have community outreach where we educate children in school, we put on presentations at the college (Gogebic Community College).”
The State Police has always been a regional law enforcement agency, but recently found they were limiting themselves by having troopers report to the posts directly.
Now, with a new program, troopers are starting to have a ‘mobile office’.
“It’s a program where troopers actually have assigned vehicles, and they will start from their home if they need to,” Horn said. “They can respond to an emergency from their home so it gives them more flexibility and puts their presence in their local community.”
“If we’re needed in another area, we can certainly respond. That’s one of the things with our mobile system and being more mobile than we had been is the past, we can carry so much gear with us,” Trooper Jerry Mazurek said. “When we do go on the road, as you look around…in the rear, there’s a bunch of different gear that we carry with us so that if we need to respond to another incident in another area, we can certainly do that.”
Trooper Mazurek and his partner Trooper Tyler Tabin regularly go out on patrol when there are no incidents to respond to.
“Especially with weather like this, we’ll check the main trunklines to see if we come across any disabled vehicles, or motorists that need assists,” Mazurek said. “We’ll be watching for any traffic violations, people driving too fast for the conditions and things along those lines.”
With new equipment in their vehicle they don’t have to contact the post to run license plates or write citations, and they can get up to the minute updates.
“(We use) eDaily, which is our daily activities on what we’re doing so Lansing can know what we’re up to,” Tabin said.
“And it’s right up to the minute as far as the information that we do out here, they can tell even when we put our information on here for our eDaily system, they can tell what traffic stops you’re at, where you’re at,” Mazurek said. “Even the boss can come out and he can pull up and see what we’ve done so far today.”
And, while the troopers are law enforcement agents, they are still very much members of the community.
“I really enjoy helping people,” Tabin said. “This type of job you’re dealing with the public every day and you’re serving them and helping them. Being a trooper is helping people and serving the communities.”
“Part of what we do as well–besides just patrolling and enforcing the law–we also make sure the communities we live in are safe as well,” Mazurek said.