78 recruits graduating from Mich. trooper school - Fox 2 News Headlines

78 recruits graduating from Mich. trooper school

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Credit: @MichStatePolice Credit: @MichStatePolice

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Dozens of recruits graduating Friday to full-fledged troopers will give a much-needed boost to the ranks of the Michigan State Police, which is at its lowest staffing level since the late 1960s.

The 78 recruits graduating in Lansing will push the count to 965 troopers at 29 posts across the state. The high point for Michigan State Police trooper employment was 1,344 in 2001.

The last personnel count, done on Sept. 1, showed 887 troopers, the lowest total in more than 40 years, spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said Friday.

This is the first of two trooper schools funded by Gov. Rick Snyder's public safety plan, which the first-term governor detailed in March. Snyder, set to be the keynote speaker during Friday's graduation ceremony at the Lansing Center, proposed $15 million for the two schools to graduate 180 new recruits.

The next trooper school is to begin later this month. The last batch of new troopers graduated in May last year.

Some of the new troopers will be sent to or near Flint, Detroit, Saginaw and Pontiac, which, according to 2010 data compiled by the FBI, are among the top 10 U.S. cities of more than 50,000 with the worst violent crime rates.

Flint received 15 transfers and will get five new recruits from Friday's graduation. Saginaw is covered by what is known as the Tri-Cities Post, while Detroit and Pontiac are handled by what is called the Metro Post.

The increase in trooper numbers comes at a time when many Michigan communities have been losing law enforcement officers.

There were 18,784 law enforcement officers last month, down from 22,488 in 2001, according to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

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