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Family Ties and Family Values Drive MSP Trooper Recruit Graduates

Shiloh LaButte grew up in a home infused with service and led by a hero, her mother, an EMT who started a search-and-rescue team in the Upper Peninsula community of Garden and who raced to New York City after the 9/11 attacks to help find victims. “She led by example,” says Recruit LaButte, a member of the 142nd Trooper Recruit School, which graduates on Thursday.

And now LaButte is leading by example, having applied to the academy while pregnant because public service is in her blood. “I remember taking my 5-month-old son to the physical agility test,” she says. “I knew I had work to do. I am very determined.”

Photo of Recruits Rader and LaButte during first aid training

LaButte is graduating from the 142nd Trooper Recruit School alongside 58 other recruits, many of whom cite family ties and family values for their decisions to become troopers.  They are inspired by family members. They are working for their families. And they are forming new family bonds through the brotherhood and sisterhood of academy life.

Lance Rader grew up in Bolivia, where his parents are missionaries. His father runs Christian camps and youth retreats, where Lance and his five siblings first learned the value of paying forward. “I always had the desire to help people,” he says.

Photo of Recruits Rader and LaButte during PT

Now he is a father of two young children, including a son who was born during recruit school. His commander gave him leave so he could be home for the birth. “I feel a sense of family at the academy,” he says.

Recruits during classroom training

Zikrullahi Arogundade comes from a middle-class family in Nigeria with a history of military service. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps after watching his uncles develop “a sense of responsibility and selflessness” in their military careers. His interactions with Michigan State Police troopers over the years convinced Arogundade that being a trooper would give him a career of responsibility and selflessness.

Photos of recruits during first aid training

Brandon and Bailey Bowers are brothers who are graduating together and will serve alongside two older brothers and a cousin in the Michigan State Police. They come from a military family and their mother was a nurse, which means they were raised to put public service first. Bailey says the family gravitated toward the MSP because of “their values, their reputation, the way they serve their community.”

LaButte, the young mother inspired by her own mother, says what drew her to the MSP were the men and women who currently serve. “Every trooper you meet, that’s the kind of person I wanted to be,” she says. “Courtesy. Respect. And you look at them and you know they’re professional and that they’re there for you.”

Photo of recruits during community service project

“I wanted to be somebody who is calm, cool and collected, somebody who is there for you, somebody who has the training someone might need in circumstances they might find themselves in,” LaButte says. “I want to be a sign of hope for people when they’re in need.”

And soon, like the rest of the 142nd Trooper Recruit School, LaButte will be a living sign of hope as she recites the MSP Oath of Office, receives her trooper badge and begins her career at the Manistique Outpost.

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