CLEVELAND — As the Republican National Convention comes to an end, Michigan State Police are preparing to head home and reflecting on the week.
Surrounded by faces they've never seen in an unknown city for five days, MSP troopers say it was a community policing approach that helped them get through their crazy busy week.
"We have had very positive reactions, people coming up high living shaking our hands, people yelling on the streets," said First Lt. Kyle Bowman with MSP. The troopers say it was kindness that provided them with a sense of home, though home was hours away.
"We’re Michigan State troopers. We're in Cleveland. We’ve been sworn in as Cleveland police officers. It’s pretty cool. It's a good honor," said Sgt. Marcus Trammel with MSP.
The troopers slept in dorms all week, spending more than 12 hours on their feet. Yet they still found the strength to wave, shake hands and interact with those walking to or from the RNC.
Lt. Bowman says community policing played a major role in Cleveland this week, engaging with the public during non-law enforcement activities, protecting unknown faces with discreet dignity.
"Here we are in Cleveland, outside of our normal area where we don’t have that reputation that we have at home as how we treat people, and it’s up to all the troopers that are here and because we have that core fundamental community policing that is part of our service," Bowman said.
Lt. Bowman says the Republican Convention was an opportunity to show others how Michigan State troopers are trained.
"We focus heavily on treating people with respect. We start that from the day they start recruit school and through the academy, treating others and instructors with respect and that’s how we want to treat the public," Bowman said.
"I think the troopers have enjoyed it almost as much as the citizens. I don’t know who would win that battle, but you can see some of the smiles on people’s faces posing for photos and high fives, there’s just a large amount of pride," Bowman said.
MSP will load on a bus Friday and head back to Michigan in the afternoon.