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State Police Members Recognized Internationally for Excellence in Policing

Two Michigan State Police (MSP) members were recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for excelling in their field at an awards ceremony during the IACP’s annual conference in Dallas, TX last night, Tuesday, Oct. 18.

F/Lieutenant Mike Shaw received the IACP/Flock Safety Leadership in Public Information Management Award and Lt. Lance Cook received the IACP Lifetime Achievement in Highway Safety Award.

“These are exceptional honors, and both of these members are extremely deserving of this recognition,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “Effectively communicating with the public builds trust and as one of our first enlisted public information officers, F/Lieutenant Shaw has led the way for our department and others, serving as a valuable asset to his metro Detroit community.”

“Lieutenant Cook has been a tireless promoter of traffic safety throughout his nearly 35 years in law enforcement,” said Colonel Gasper. “Michigan’s residents have benefited from his commitment to teaching and training about the importance of improving driving behavior and road performance.”

F/Lt. Mike Shaw - IACP/Flock Safety Leadership in Public Information Management Award

This award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual public information officer and his or her ability to effectively disseminate information to the public.

F/Lieutenant Shaw, Second District Public Information Officer (PIO), is the architect of the MSP’s full-time enlisted PIO position, a role he has served in since 2013. He is responsible for media and public relations in the metro Detroit region, which includes the state’s three most populated counties and Michigan’s largest city, Detroit.

Understanding the benefits of his position in building trust and community relations, F/Lieutenant Shaw advocated for full-time enlisted PIOs in each of the department’s seven regions statewide and for each to have their own Twitter account to promote and localize the department’s messages. Today, all seven of the MSP’s regions have their own full-time enlisted PIO and Twitter account. Recognizing that he and his Twitter feed are trusted sources for factual information, F/Lieutenant Shaw also utilizes his position to share important public safety information, not directly related to the MSP.

He serves as a mentor for newer MSP PIOs, as well as those in state agencies and local police departments. He has helped to develop social media strategies that have built relationships with the media during daily operations and critical incidents, ensuring the timely and accurate dissemination of public information.

Lt. Lance Cook - IACP Lifetime Achievement in Highway Safety Award

The IACP J. Stannard Baker Lifetime Achievement in Highway Safety Award recognizes individual law enforcement officers, active or retired, and others in the field who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to highway safety.

Lieutenant Cook, who is assigned to the Special Operations Division as commander of the Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit, has spent his entire career as a traffic safety advocate, becoming a prolific speaker and instructor, publishing educational materials, and influencing traffic law and policy changes.

Early in his career with the MSP, Lieutenant Cook distinguished himself in the areas of traffic and drunk driving enforcement and began teaching traffic crash investigation classes. Lieutenant Cook is a recognized expert in multiple aspects of traffic safety and takes a comprehensive approach to problem solving, looking for innovative solutions to traffic safety problems rather than simply suggesting increased enforcement. Lieutenant Cook served as a co-chair of the regional traffic safety network during which time he won three traffic safety awards from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC). 

In his current role, he supervises eight specialist sergeant crash reconstructionists in addition to overseeing the program responsible for approximately 100 at-scene and technical traffic crash investigators.  Lieutenant Cook is the MSP Director’s designee to sign traffic control orders for speed limits, parking restrictions and stop determinations, which carry the weight of law.