State Police Employees Honored for Dedication and Service; Trooper, Motor Carrier Officer and Civilian of the Year Announced
January 04, 2021
Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Joe Gasper is pleased to announce D/Sgt. Joseph McMillan as the 2020 Dr. Carl A. Gerstacker Trooper of the Year, MC Ofcr. Matthew Dowell as the 2020 Motor Carrier Officer of the Year and Ms. Kerri Hunter as the 2020 Floyd R. Bell Jr. Civilian of the Year.
“During a very challenging year, each of these individuals consistently displayed a positive and productive attitude,” said Gasper. “They represent the connection your State Police seeks to make every single day in communities across Michigan. I am proud to recognize and work alongside them.”
Trooper of the Year
D/Sgt. Joseph McMillan of the Mt. Pleasant Post was named Trooper of the Year. The Gerstacker Trooper of the Year 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.
McMillan currently serves as a detective sergeant assigned to the Mt. Pleasant Post, often handling high profile cases as well as mentoring fellow troopers.
He exhibits professionalism in his investigations and management of them and is always willing to provide guidance to law enforcement partners.
McMillan coaches youth sports, serving as a fifth-grade basketball and baseball coach. He and his spouse host biweekly meetings to mentor to married couples, where they provide advice, a listening ear and support.
McMillan enlisted with the MSP in 2008, graduating as a member of the 121st Trooper Recruit School. Prior to serving at the Mt. Pleasant Post, he served at the former Bridgeport Post, as well as the Tri-City Post.
Motor Carrier Officer of the Year
MC Ofcr. Matthew Dowell of the Alpena Post was named Motor Carrier Officer of the Year. The Motor Carrier Officer of the Year Award recognizes the MSP motor carrier officer who symbolizes outstanding professional ethics, dedication to duty and concern for giving back to their community.
Dowell currently serves as a field training officer and background investigator, in addition to his daily duties as a motor carrier officer.
He takes pride in his work and understands the importance his enforcement plays on Michigan’s roadways and in the trucking industry.
In his community, Dowell serves as an assistant coach for his children's wrestling team. He is active in the Michigan Law Enforcement Torch Run, which benefits Special Olympics Michigan. He also is a hospice volunteer and enjoys spending time assisting at his local Humane Society.
Dowell enlisted with the MSP in 2016, graduating as a member of the 21st Motor Carrier Officer Recruit School.
Civilian of the Year
Ms. Kerri Hunter of the Gaylord Post was named Civilian of the Year. The MSP Civilian of the Year Award is named in honor of the late Floyd R. Bell Jr., a 42-year employee of the MSP, who continuously demonstrated commitment and dedication to the department and his community.
Hunter serves as a post secretary where she’s known as a strong leader and someone always willing and able to take on additional responsibilities even as she attends college full-time working on a degree in criminal justice, digital forensics.
In her community, Hunter is an active and certified firefighter/medical first responder. She is a Captain with the Vienna Township Fire Department and an Assistant Fire Chief and EMS Coordinator for the Charlton Township Fire Department.
Hunter joined the MSP in 1998.