MSP open house draws big crowd

CALUMET – From robots to drug-sniffing dogs, the Michigan State Police got to show off several facets of its operation to the public at a four-hour open house at the Calumet post recently.

Visitors could look at a variety of tasks carried out by the state police at Calumet and other posts, including the dive team, bomb squad, K-9 unit, and emergency support team. Kids could also try a driving simulator or look at a 1991 Chevrolet Camaro.

“It’s put on so the public can see the services the police provide,” said Lt. Randal Danison, commander of the Calumet post. “It also gives them the chance to visit with the officers.”

Carrie Meneguzzo of Ahmeek brought her son Carter, 3. He drove on a simulated course, earning congratulations from Geno Basanese, a community service trooper at the Iron Mountain post.

“He’s a big fan of policemen, and he plays policeman all the time, with his police cat and police dog,” she said.

Trooper Matt Peters showed off some of the robots devices used in responding to crisis situations, such as a robot with adjustable treads that also allow it to scale stairs. If necessary it can also be used to bring materials inside, he said.

“This could be our eyes and ears in a house,” he said.

William Myers, 8, of Tamarack City, called the robot his favorite part of the open house.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said.