LANSING, Mich. — After graduation officers are sworn in by reciting, “I will perform my duties with excellence, integrity and courtesy, and conduct myself in a manner that honors those who served before me. I am a Michigan State Trooper.”
After a century of serving Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder is declaring April 19 as Michigan State Police Day.
“The pride and commitment to service that began 100 years ago remains intact today in every member of the Michigan State Police,” said Snyder. “I encourage all Michiganders to join me in recognizing this historic milestone and their 100 years of proud service to the Great Lakes state with excellence, integrity and courtesy.”
MSP began as the Michigan Troopers Permanent Force during World War I. The group was created as a temporary, wartime emergency force on April 19, 1917 by Gov. Albert Sleeper. Two years later the temporary force became permanent making the shift to the organization we now know as the Michigan State Police.
“While the Michigan State Police has evolved and changed over the years, one thing has always remained the same – at our core, the MSP is a service organization,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “It’s our honor to serve Michigan and we look forward to connecting with you and the communities you call home for the next 100 years.”
To celebrate the department’s milestone, MSP is hosting a ‘Day at the Capitol.’ From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MSP invites the public to enjoy interactive displays in the Ground Floor Rotunda in Lansing. Those that are unable to attend the event can still participate by using #MSP100 to virtually celebrate.
Below are a few interesting facts that show how much things have changed in the last 100 years:
- Horses were the main mode of transportation for troopers in 1917 and the department’s entire motor fleet consisted of four unmarked staff cars, two supply trucks and an armored truck.
- Two-man mounted detachments rode daily patrols of 15 to 35 miles, returning to their barracks each night.
- In 1917, troopers wore a khaki and forest green uniform consisting of military tunics with breeches, leather puttees, and either a Campaign-style hat or a Stetson.
- In 1917, lacking any other means of communication, troopers had to check for telegram messages at the post office of each town they visited.
- Capt. Ira H. Marmon opened a Bureau of Investigation and Identification at the East Lansing Headquarters in 1919 using a primitive fingerprint records file in an old shoebox that he stored under his barracks cot next to his desk.
- In 1918, troopers rendered aid in six automobile wrecks.
- In 1918, troopers made 2,937 arrests.
- The MSP fleet contains over 2,220 vehicles today with a variety of makes, models and purposes. Today’s fleet also includes dive boats, helicopters and motorcycles.
- Today, troopers on average drive over 125 miles during their daily patrol.
- Today, troopers wear a dark blue and grey uniform that became the standard in 1961, along with a Campaign-style hat that was recently added in recognition of the department’s 100th Anniversary.
- Today, troopers communicate using smartphones, mobile data computers and 800 MHz radios.
- Today, fingerprint records are stored in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database, which contains over 3.6 million records.
- In 2016, troopers rendered aid in 43,488 traffic crashes.
- In 2016, troopers made 72,695 arrests.