Happy birthday to state police

The Michigan State Police is truly regarded as one of the finest law enforcement organizations in the entire United States. We all should be proud of these brave men and women who unselfishly serve our great state of Michigan.

The history of our Michigan State Police goes all the way back to the need for domestic security during World War I.

On April 19, 1917, then-Gov. Albert Sleeper created the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force and this police force was also known as the Michigan State Constabulary. At this time, there were about 300 personnel in the entire force. This police force included mounted police officers, as well as those who served in what was then referred to as motorized units.

World War I then came to an end with the signing of the armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. Following World War I, the need to maintain a full time state police was recognized. In March 1919, the Michigan State Constabulary officially became permanent and was renamed the Michigan State Police.

In 1963, the State of Michigan adopted a new Constitution and Michigan was reorganized with the authorization of up to 20 official State Departments. Shortly thereafter, Michigan Public Act 380 of 1965 reorganized the Michigan Department of State Police as one of these departments. Included in this public act was to name a director of the entire MSP force.

The director holds the rank of colonel and is appointed by the governor. The current director of the MSP is Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. She was appointed by Gov. Snyder in January 2011. As director, Col. Etue also serves as State Director of Emergency Management and as Michigan’s Homeland Security Director.

Further, Col. Etue is the 18th director in the 97-year history of the MSP, and she is also the first female director of the Michigan State Police. She is highly respected and offers outstanding leadership in her role as director of the MSP.

The Michigan State Police are divided into districts. District 8 covers the entire Upper Peninsula and is headquartered in Marquette under the leadership of Capt. John Halpin. The seven state police posts are located in Negaunee, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Gladstone, Iron Mountain, Wakefield and Calumet. Further, there are six additional locations known as state police detachments that report to the various state police posts in their geographic area.

Today, the Michigan State Police consists of a modern-day force of law enforcement professionals, using the latest up-to-date training and technology to protect the citizens of Michigan. What was once a cavalry of 300 men now has evolved into one of the leading police agencies in the U.S.

The MSP commitment to serve began back in 1917. Today, the men and women who proudly serve in the Michigan State Police do so with pride, and they continue their outstanding tradition of providing service through excellence, integrity, and courtesy.

Having been founded on April 19, 1917, our Michigan State Police celebrated their 97th birthday last Saturday. Happy Birthday to the MSP and many thanks for all you do for the citizens of our great state of Michigan.

Editor’s note: Dr. Jim Surrell, author of “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet,” has his practice at the Digestive Health Clinic at Marquette General Health System. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.