February 21, 2020

MSP actively seeking new recruits

Posted

WEST BRANCH — The Michigan State Police have recently made policy changes in order to aid and encourage recruitment to the MSP Academy, including appointing recruiters to each post across the state and allowing recruits the choice of three posts from which to choose upon graduation. 

Community Service Trooper Shane Noble, who was appointed as the recruiter for the West Branch MSP Post two weeks ago, said the recruitment policy changes gives prospective recruits the opportunity to stay close to their communities. 

“One of the major things that they’ve changed is they’re offering three post selections prior to starting the academy, so that helps those who may have homes or significant others who work, so they don’t have to uproot their lives,” Noble said. 

Noble said the MSP’s recruitment shortage is part of a larger nationwide issue. He said in order to further aid recruitment efforts, the MSP is also seeking to streamline the academy process by reducing it from 11 steps plus field training after post appointment to eight steps. 

“Over the last several years, I’ve personally seen it harder to find people to fill law enforcement positions,” Noble said. “It’s safe to say there’s a shortage in law enforcement in general right now, including finding applicants for the Michigan State Police Academy.” 

Trooper Allen Good of the MSP West Branch Post, a 2008 graduate of and former science teacher at Ogemaw Heights High School said he decided to make a career change several years ago and entered the MSP Academy in 2018.

“I wanted to keep serving the community but in a different aspect,” Good said. “It’s a very rewarding career. It’s very challenging, but the challenges make it that much more rewarding.” 

Noble said when he applied to the academy, the MSP typically assigned recruits to locations outside their communities. Good said this had changed when he applied, with the MSP allowing more flexibility to recruits who performed well in the academy. He said he was fortunate to finish near the top of his class, as it allowed him the opportunity to stay in the community, as his spouse is a teacher at Surline Middle School. 

Good said he feels the more recent change of allowing recruits a choice of post is a positive one.

“I think there is a big benefit to coming back to your home area, especially with the job that we have where you’re out in the community the whole time,” Good said. 

Noble said troopers receive competitive salaries and benefits, health insurance, retirement benefits and paid sick leave and vacation time, and recruits receive $3,800 per month plus full health insurance and other benefits during training. He said there are many choices of career opportunities as well.

“We pay you from day one when you get to the academy,” Noble said. “There are a lot of opportunities — K-9, bomb squad, emergency services, dive team, and we have a drone program now as well.” 

Good said he is glad he chose to join the MSP Academy, as it provided him more detailed training then he would have received at a typical law enforcement academy.

“It’s challenging, and you learn a lot,” Good said. “You come out very well prepared to tackle the challenges of law enforcement. Our academy is a lot longer than your standard law enforcement academy, which can be challenging when you’re in it. But after you graduate, you appreciate it because you’re that much more prepared for the job.”  

In order to qualify for the MSP Academy, prospective recruits must meet a basic set of minimum guidelines, including being 21 years of age and a Michigan resident by recruit school graduation, holding a high school diploma or GED, having no felony arrests or convictions and a driving record free of suspensions and the ability to pass vision and hearing requirements. 

Noble said the MSP Academy is a great option for individuals seeking a life or career change. While not necessary, he said prior education and experience is a bonus.

“College education is good, prior law enforcement experience is helpful as well as military experience. We hire a lot of veterans,” Noble said. “We’re always looking for qualified candidates.”  

Recruiter and application information for the MSP Academy is available at www.mi.gov/mspjobs, by email at msprecruiting@michigan.gov or by phone at 517-636-4563.

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