Mark Fisher, Evan Mize, Benjamin Stadler and Andrew Young recently graduated from the 123rd Trooper Recruit School in Lansing.
The trooper school began June 10 and ended Oct. 19. Recruits participated in a 17-week field training program, in which they were paired with experienced troopers for their shifts. The program helps new troopers apply their studies to real life police work and conduct patrol and investigation under the supervision of seasoned troopers.
Seventy-eight out of the original 92 recruits were sworn in and assigned to work sites across Michigan. Funding made available as part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s public safety plan allowed for the hiring of 180 troopers statewide this year.
The Michigan State Police Lakeview Post is overseen by Lt. Commander Kevin Sweeney and is the headquarters for a three-county coverage area of Gratiot, Ionia and Montcalm counties, including detachments in Sheridan, Ionia and Ithaca.
‘Something of a homecoming’
Fisher, 36, was born and raised in Grand Rapids, but he has more than just a passing familiarity with Montcalm County. He used to work at the Greenville Car Center at M-57 and Lincoln Lake Road and his future wife lived in Greenville when they first began dating. The couple was married 15 years ago at First United Methodist Church in Greenville.
“This is something of a homecoming for us and we could not be happier that we were posted in Lakeview,” Fisher said.
Fisher was first introduced to the Michigan State Police when he was offered a job as a dispatcher at the Rockford post in 2008. He quickly fell in love with the job.
“I was hooked from there,” he said. “The thought of being able to go out and help someone in their time of need or to be a positive influence on a child had a great impact on me. I really enjoy talking to people and doing different things every day and there is no better agency than the Michigan State Police to be a part of.”
Fisher said he looks forward to the new challenge of police work.
“I am very happy to be a trooper and could not imagine doing anything else,” he said. “I hope we can get out there and represent the state police department well and provide a service to the people that they deserve.”
‘The best trooper I can be’
Mize, 22, is from Mason, south of Lansing. He attended Michigan State University, where he majored in criminal justice.
“I decided to enter law enforcement when I was very young because my dad is also in law enforcement and he had a great impact on my career,” Mize said.
Mize hadn’t been to Montcalm County before becoming a trooper, but he is looking forward to working in this area and learning about the community.
“I’m just focused on how to be the best trooper I can be to help the public,” he said.
‘An interest in justice’
Stadler, 23, was born and raised in Hemlock on the outskirts of Saginaw County. He attended Ferris State University, where he majored in criminal justice and minored in psychology and sociology.
“I heard they were one of the best schools for criminal justice, and it was true,” he said. “Ferris’ academy prepared me really well. Going into recruit school right after Ferris was really nice.”
Stadler became interested in a career in law enforcement during his high school years.
“I just always had an interest in justice and things being fair,” he said. “I just love being able to help people and giving them peace of mind. I love going on calls and helping people feel like the state police cares.”
Stadler became familiar with the northern portion of Montcalm County during the years he took M-46 from the Saginaw area on his way to Ferris. He is looking forward to seeing the rest of the county now.
“After about four weeks in Montcalm County, I really like the people,” he said.
In the future, Stadler may focus on one of his many areas of interest in law enforcement, including being a canine officer, community officer or recruiter.
“Once you get into the state police, it’s pretty fast and furious,” he said of his new job. “I’m just happy to finally be where I want to be, to finally be out on my career. It’s everything I thought it would be.”
‘I am out there to protect’
Young, 24, was born in South Carolina and raised in Traverse City. He studied two years at Eastern Michigan University, then transferred to Ferris State University, where he majored in criminal justice.
“My baseball coach was a state trooper and he made want not only be in law enforcement, but also to be a state trooper,” Young recalled. “I have always wanted to help other people out when they are having a difficult time. I thought what better profession to have? Being a law enforcement member, we are able to give great resources to others when they need it.”
Like Stadler, Young was familiar with a portion of Montcalm County as he took the M-46 route to Ferris.
“Learning the roads of this county has been a challenge but I am getting there,” he said. “It is fun to get to know the citizens of this county. I enjoy talking with people. I do not want my badge to deter people, but to welcome them. I have been telling people I am a person just like they are. My job just requires me to wear a special uniform and drive a special car. In the big picture, I put on a uniform just like a janitor, nurse, dentist or clerk at a gas station would.
“The only difference is I am out there to protect the integrity of this state and the people that reside in it,” he said.
Trooper Recruit School
Another Michigan State Police trooper recruit school is anticipated in early 2013.
Interested candidates can visit michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information on how to apply.