Why I Became a State Trooper: Tpr. Michael Swantek

Tpr. Michael Swantek

I grew up in the Ann Arbor area, and as a child I did not care a whole lot for the police.  My opinion was formed by others who had been in trouble with the criminal justice system themselves. As I became a young adult I learned I should not let the opinions of others dictate how I view someone or something.

When I started college I wanted to study strength and conditioning to become an athletics coach. However, a family friend who retired from law enforcement due to a critical on-duty injury encouraged me to do a ride-along with the Michigan State Police.

The trooper I rode with opened my eyes to what law enforcement is really like. His appearance was sharp, he was kind, he engaged with the public in a positive manner and treated others with dignity and respect, no matter the situation. I admired his character, and as a young man, it gave me something to continuously strive for and a career that peaked my interest. While completing college I participated in an internship program and crossed paths with the same trooper once or twice. He continued to encourage me to finish school and join the MSP.  

Once I decided to be a police officer, I knew I wanted to be a State Trooper. To be a trooper meant you went through the toughest recruit school that trains you to take on a situation, no matter how difficult the task is before you. When the challenges of training became more and more difficult, I would always think to myself, “If it isn’t challenging, it isn’t worth having.”

Two recruit schools later, and a double dose of the water safety practical, I am proud to be a Michigan State Trooper. As I approach another year with the Michigan State Police I look forward to what the future holds and where new roads will take me no matter the challenges that lie ahead. To make a difference in your community and be a part of an elite force of respected professionals, visit mi.gov/mspjobs or email us at msprecruiting@michigan.gov.