Why I became a State Trooper: Tpr. Miguel Mendez-Ibanez
Today, I am a Michigan State Trooper; however 15 years ago, I had just emigrated from Cuba to the United States, settling in Lansing.
Coming from Cuba, getting an education was not a priority in my family. Finding a decent paying job and working was the direction my parents wanted me to pursue. They did not understand the value of an education and the doors that could open for me. Going to college wasn’t a priority. No one told me I was supposed to or should go to college. Living in the United States and seeing all of the possibilities and opportunities available, I realized the importance of having an education. I saw my parents struggle, and this was not something I wanted to go through. This motivated me to take advantage of the opportunities available and seek an education.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, I proceeded to play professional baseball in Kansas. This was a dream come true for me. However, my baseball career was cut short due to injury. It wasn’t until I had returned to Lansing that I realized I wanted to be a police officer. After seeing the scrutiny law enforcement was receiving around the nation, I decided to contact the Michigan State Police to possibly pursue a career as a State Trooper. I went on a ride-along with a trooper, and that decision would change my life forever. I saw firsthand the professionalism of the Michigan State Police. I saw troopers helping others and I wanted to be a part of it.
I decided to join the Michigan State Police because as a minority, I felt like law enforcement was targeting us, but I found out that’s not the truth. As a minority, I can make a difference not only within my culture, but also in my community. I’m thankful that through my job with the Michigan State Police I have the opportunity to influence others and change how law enforcement is perceived. Being a Michigan State Trooper has been the best decision I’ve made. I get to make other people’s lives a little better, and every day feels like I am making a difference.