Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue today announced that Michigan citizens will soon benefit from the services of 78 additional Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers following the graduation of the 123rd Trooper Recruit School. Governor Rick Snyder served as the keynote speaker at this afternoon’s ceremony.

“This is a proud day for our new troopers, their families and all of Michigan,” Snyder said. “These graduates have been tested by rigorous physical and academic training, and have proved they have what it takes to wear the Michigan State Police badge. Our entire state appreciates their commitment to service and excellence. I have every confidence that they will uphold the highest traditions of the Michigan State Police. I wish them safe, successful careers as they join the ranks of Michigan’s elite law enforcement agency.”

The 123rd Trooper Recruit School began on June 10, 2012, when 92 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy. For the past 19 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving. Graduating recruits were assigned to MSP work sites across the state and will report to their respective posts for duty next week.

“To accept the honor of becoming a trooper is to also embrace and recognize the department’s proud traditions and high standards of service, through excellence, integrity, and courtesy,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, during her address to the recruits. “You have a mission to serve and protect because policing is a duty of the highest honor—with the highest responsibilities, the highest visibility and some of the greatest challenges. The department demands and the public deserves nothing less than your best every day.”

“With this graduation, not only do these recruits become troopers, they and their families are now members of our Michigan State Police family and part of a 95-year proud tradition,” added Colonel Etue.

Of the 78 graduating recruits, 76 have continued their education with college studies, 15 have served in the United States Military and 20 have prior law enforcement experience.

Funding made available as part of Governor Rick Snyder’s public safety plan allows for the hiring of 180 troopers this year. The 124th Trooper Recruit School is set to begin Oct. 28, 2012. These additional troopers will help support law enforcement efforts in the state’s most violent cities—Flint, Detroit, Pontiac and Saginaw, as well as underserved areas throughout the state.

Another trooper recruit school is anticipated in early 2013.