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Michigan State Police are Understaffed and Recruiting in West Michigan

Posted at 5:49 PM, Feb 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-23 09:05:05-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (February 22, 2014) – Michigan State Police say with about 1,100 troopers they’re understaffed. Officials say in the next twelve months they’re looking to hire 200 people; so they’ve made recruitment more efficient.

Fifty-three somewhat nervous applicants walked into the gym at Kalamazoo Valley Community College Saturday to get ready for their fitness test; this after going through orientation and a three-hour long entry level law enforcement exam.

MSP say they combined these tests to speed up recruitment, and held special testing opportunities like this in Kalamazoo, Detroit and Flint in February.

“I’m just trying to go to the top, straight to the top,” said Decorey Holmes, Lake Michigan College freshman.

Holmes is an applicant who’s attended the MSP Youth Leadership Academy twice. He won “most outstanding cadet” at the Academy and says it’s his dream to help people.

“I’m wishing everybody good luck in there. For me it’s kind of hard, but I’m still giving my all: waking up every day, running, working out, just hoping that I can become a future state police,” said Holmes.

For the fitness test, applicants jumped, crunched, ran and did as many push-ups as they could. While grueling for many, troopers say even this is not nearly as demanding as the MSP Academy.

“It definitely takes heart and commitment. It’s someone who is willing to serve the community and wants to be a part of the community; but just to get through the selection process, and recruit school itself, it takes a lot of will,” explained Sgt. Michele Hernandez, MSP recruiting coordinator.

“You have to have confidence. If I kind of seemed like I was shy or something, then I think it could get the best of me, but I’m not going to let it. I think I can handle it,” shared Kelsey Sowers, college junior.

Applicants can either become a state trooper or a motor carrier officer, who focuses on traffic safety, homeland security and protecting the infrastructure, like Michigan roadways.

“Any day you can look back and truly feel what the sense of accomplishment to get through the process, not just to get chosen to attend, but then to accomplish the recruit school, it’s a phenomenal feeling,” said Lt. Steve Pascoe, MSP commercial vehicle enforcement.

If applicants passed their written and physical exams, the next step will be a pre-screening interview. The MSP Academy begins June 8, 2014, but before that applicants have to pass a full background investigation, undergo a hiring interview, receive an offer of employment, then pass both medical and psychological tests.

The Academy lasts 18 to 20 weeks in a para-military, live-in environment.

If you’re interested in applying, or want more information on recruitment, visit www.mi.gov/mspjobs then click on the application for the entry level law enforcement exam.

MSP officials say applicants should be 21 to 35-years-old and a U.S. citizen with at least a high school diploma.