LANSING  (AP) – Ninety recruits on Friday graduated to full-fledged Michigan State Police troopers, as Gov. Rick Snyder tries to boost the agency from low staffing levels and make four crime-ridden cities safer.

Those who graduated in a ceremony in Lansing are in the second of two trooper schools funded this budget year under Snyder’s public safety plan. As of last year, the Michigan State Police had its least number of troopers since the late 1960s. There were 886 at-post troopers as of earlier this week.

Snyder thanked the graduates of the 124th trooper school for committing to serve the state.

“We owe you a debt of gratitude, and wish you all long, safe and rewarding careers,” he said.

New troopers were sworn in at the Lansing Center by Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the state police.

The graduates will be assigned to posts across Michigan. State police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said 36 will go to posts in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw – four cities with high violent crime rates that have been targeted by the Snyder administration.

The post serving Detroit and Pontiac will get 20 graduates, Flint eight and a post serving Saginaw eight.

The school began on Oct. 28 with 114 prospects from a pool of 2,000 potential candidates. For 22 weeks, they got training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing and other functions.
“The department demands, and the public deserves, nothing less than your best every day,” Etue said.

The next trooper school is set to start May 12.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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