“A tradition of service through excellence, integrity and courtesy” is the motto of the Michigan State Police as it celebrate 97 years this week. Starting during World War I, the cavalry of 300 men was established as a temporary, wartime emergency force for the purpose of domestic security.
Now approximately 3,000 strong, Michigan State Police History Week was declared by Governor Rick Snyder to honor these officers and this milestone of dedication. Keeping with tradition and honoring the past, the MSP have opted to keep the bubble hood light and fin stop ornament, because they used to do side stops and this was their way of letting a driver know to pull over. This week, the officers also reflected on the proud traditions that make them unique.
“In the 1930s, they had a age and height requirement; you had to be between 22 and 30 years old and had to be 5’10” before you could be accepted into the department,” MSP Iron Mountain Post Community Services Trooper Geno Basanese said. “As you got into the 1950s, if you were single, you had to live at the post and you had to get permission to marry and get permission to go into debt. It wasn’t the traditional 40-hour week that we put in now. You were here 24-7 and you had to be available 24-7.”
The Iron Mountain Post held a modest in-house celebration with a decorated cake and fond memories of the past.