LANSING, MI - Governor-elect Rick Snyder today announced Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle will continue to lead the department and Lt. Col. Kriste Etue is being promoted to serve as director of the Michigan State Police.
Snyder also announced Etue will serve on a panel of law enforcement professionals including other notables such as Attorney General-elect Bill Schuette and Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel that will recommend ways to cut costs and provide better police protection by increasing cooperation and reducing redundant services.
"Kriste's 24 years of experience within the department and her experience managing the budget through very challenging times make her a natural choice for the director position," Snyder said. "I have every confidence that Kriste is up to the challenge of finding ways to reduce costs without sacrificing service or putting the public or state troopers at risk."
Etue began her career with the Michigan State Police in 1987 as a trooper stationed at the Brighton post. She quickly worked her way up the ranks, working first on crime prevention and then later emergency management and homeland security issues. She is currently the department's deputy director and is responsible for overseeing an approximately $550 million budget.
Etue will be the first woman to hold the MSP director position.
Steudle began his career with MDOT as an engineer and worked his way up through the department until Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed him to the top job in 2006. He is the first member of Granholm's cabinet Snyder has asked to stay on with the new administration.
"I don't believe in getting rid of people just because they are affiliated with a different party. That's the kind of partisan thinking that prevents us from working together to find solutions," Snyder said. "Kirk is doing a good job making projects come in on time and on budget, and he understands that we need to a better job maintaining the infrastructure we already have before building new."
In addition to announcing the cabinet picks, Snyder also announced the formation of a panel that will look for ways to reduce overlap in Michigan's law enforcement system as a way to reduce costs.
"One of the biggest areas for potential savings is to look at government to see where there is overlap and then figure out ways to reduce it. With all of our law enforcement organizations working together, each can focus on their individual strengths and we will have better protection for taxpayer money," Snyder said.
The panel, which includes police officers, government and judicial leaders from across Michigan, will advise the Snyder administration on public safety priorities. It will also focus on ensuring more cooperation to prevent and solve crimes.
Ottawa County Sheriff Gary Rosema will chair the panel. Other members of the advisory panel include:
- John Buczek, executive director of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police
- Matt Wesaw, tribal chair and retired MSP trooper
- Ralph Godbee, Detroit chief of police
- Mark Hackel, Macomb County sheriff and executive-elect
- Stuart Dunnings III, Ingham County prosecuting attorney
- Lt. Col. Kriste Etue, incoming director of the Michigan State Police
- Michael Lovelace, Marquette County sheriff
- Donald Johnston, chief judge of the 17th Circuit Court judge
- Ken Grabowski, legislative director of the Police Officers Association of Michigan
- Bill Schuette, Attorney General-elect