HART, Mich.–Behind the badge of fallen 43-year-old Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield was a man dedicated to a man dedicated to serving his community and country.
For one of his longtime friends, Mark Pettinato, he says reality is just slowing starting to sink in.
“Instantly I went into panic mode because he’s the only trooper that patrols that time of day in Mason County. I had a feeling and I knew he was working so I actually got in my car and headed that way and I was just driving,” he said.
Pettinato is an officer himself and he never imagined the black band around his badge would be for a friend he knew so well.
“I don’t know if he was this way with everybody but if I needed him he was a phone call away. He’s been that way ever since I’ve known him,” he said. “He loved being a state trooper, he loved his job, he loved the challenge of it. The passion he put into it you don’t see it a lot.”
Trooper Butterfield is from the Saginaw area near Bridgeport and was engaged to be married next year. Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.