Michigan State Police History
Since April 19, 1917, the Michigan State Police has proudly served the citizens of Michigan. From a cavalry of 300 men to a full-service police agency of nearly 2,800 members, the Michigan State Police has proven itself as a world-class leader in law enforcement.
Join us as we prepare to celebrate not only our first century of achievements, but also the people and moments that inspire us to carry on the department’s PROUD tradition of SERVICE through EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, and COURTESY into the next 100 years.
History of the MSP
The Michigan Department of State Police began as a temporary, wartime emergency force for the purpose of domestic security during World War I. On April 19, 1917, Governor Albert Sleeper created the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force, (also known as the Michigan State Constabulary). With Colonel Roy C. Vandercook as the first commanding officer, this new force consisted of five Troops of mounted, dismounted and motorized units, totaling 300 men. On March 26, 1919, Public Act 26 reorganized the Constabulary as the permanent, peace-time Michigan State Police.
Michigan adopted a new Constitution in 1963, authorizing up to 20 departments. Public Act 380 of 1965 reorganized the Michigan Department of State Police as one of these departments. The Director holds the rank of Colonel and is appointed by the Governor.
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 of the United States.
The pride and commitment that began back in 1917 continue today to play an important role in the department.