January 24, 2008 - Saginaw Resident Named 2007 Trooper Of The Year
Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Colonel Peter C. Munoz is pleased to announce Trooper Ryan Pennell of the Flint Post is the 2007 recipient of the Dr. Carl A. Gerstacker Trooper of the Year Award.
The Gerstacker Award recognizes the MSP trooper or sergeant who symbolizes outstanding professional ethics, dedication to duty and a concern for giving back to their community. The late Dr. Carl A. Gerstacker, former chairman of Dow Chemical Company, created the award in 1961.
"Trooper Pennell was selected for continuously going beyond the call of duty both as an officer and in his community," said Munoz. "His work ethic and lifestyle exhibit a desire to enhance the community he serves while representing the MSP."
Among his accomplishments, Pennell is credited with implementing a pilot program involving the MSP, the Michigan Department of Human Services and the Office of Inspector General that seeks to identify individuals involved in welfare fraud and helps locate welfare recipients who have outstanding felony warrants. Pennell's efforts thus far have resulted in 48 felony arrests and the identification of 15 welfare fraud suspects in a three-week period.
Pennell also serves as the sex offender coordinator for the Flint Post; a position that requires him to work with local law enforcement to organize absconder sweeps and compliance checks for the 900-plus registered sex offenders in Genesee County. He also remains current in sex offender laws, serving as a resource for both post personnel and other officials on sex offender registrations and investigations.
Because of his dedication to assisting juvenile victims of sexual assault, Pennell conducts the majority of the juvenile criminal sexual conduct investigations at the post. He is a member of the Child Advocacy Center's Multidisciplinary Team and was selected as the Child Advocacy Center Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2006. His efforts were also recognized by United States Congressman Dale Kildee who awarded Pennell a Congressional Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Service in the Community.
Pennell continues his dedication to children off-duty by volunteering with the Greater Saginaw Amateur Hockey Association and the Saginaw Township Soccer Complex. He also assists in fundraising efforts for the Kids Need Opportunities to Socialize (KNOTS) program, a peer mentoring program for students with disabilities sponsored by the Saginaw Township Community Schools. In addition, Pennell provides general household maintenance and repairs for members of his community who lost a family member in Iraq.
Pennell enlisted with the department in 2000, and graduated as a member of the 119th Trooper Recruit School. He has been assigned to the Flint Post since graduation. A native of Rose City, Pennell currently resides in Saginaw with his wife of seven years, Mandy, and their children Anthony and Brenden.