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Considering a Change? A Career of Service Could Serve You Well.

Fifty-six members of the 145th Trooper Recruit School began their sixth week of training this week, moving closer toward starting a new career with the Michigan State Police. For some of the recruits, it’s their first profession, maybe even a life-long dream, but what might surprise you is that many people come to policing as a second or third career. 

A few years ago, Tpr. Brandon Franklin owned a moving company, Tpr. Emily Spoeri was a fingerprint technician and Tpr. Melissa Beafore taught parenting skills.

While Tpr. Chad Hopkins was nearing his final certification as a cath lab technician, Tpr. Bakeel Abdullah was a corrections officer. Tpr. David Brelinski was a chiropractor, a doctor working in clinical practice.

They didn’t have much in common then, but their commitment to service connects them now.

“Becoming a trooper shaped my future in a way I could not have imagined possible,” said Trooper Beafore, a recruiter assigned to the Second District in Metro Detroit. “The opportunities, people I’ve met and the potential to make a positive impact is immeasurable.”

Photo of Tpr. Melissa Beafore crouching down next to a dog at an indoor recruiting event

For Trooper Hopkins and his family, the fact that MSP trooper recruits are considered employees and paid during the 20-week training academy was one of the best benefits, even though he hadn’t previously considered policing as a career.

Photo of Tpr. Chad Hopkins and his family

“One of my coworkers suggested this career switch as a joke, during 2020 when the profession was highly scrutinized,” said Trooper Hopkins, assigned to the Grand Rapids Post. “It stuck with me and I did a few ride-alongs to get a better understanding of the job. As I was deciding to make the switch, it was important for me to continue to earn a living to support my family.”

Trooper Franklin enjoyed being a business owner but was ready for another challenge.

Nightime photo of Tpr. Brandon Franklin sitting near the open door of an MSP helicopter

Photo courtesy of Lloyd Horgan/Vertical Magazine

“I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something new,” said Trooper Franklin, a tactical flight officer assigned to the Aviation Unit. “I’ve been on road patrol, trained new recruits at the academy and was a member of the Motor Unit. Anything aviation-related is what I love so I waited patiently for a position to open up. In the future, I hope to become a pilot.”

Tpr. Bakeel Abdullah immigrated to the United States from Yemen with his mother and several siblings when he was nine years old.

“Adapting to a new life was tough. None of us spoke English. We started from scratch,” Trooper Abdullah said. “My mother struggled so hard to raise us to be who we are, to be grateful and to help when we can. Her valuable lessons allowed me to dream big. Becoming a trooper to serve my community was my dream.”

Photo of Tpr. Bakeel Abdullah sitting in an MSP patrol vehicle

His first career in corrections ran concurrent with college and when he turned 21 years of age, which is the minimum age for enlisted members, he decided to join the MSP. His brother followed a similar path and now serves with him at the Marshall Post. 

“I can't express enough how fulfilling the job is,” said Trooper David Brelinski, who is currently assigned to the Training Academy as a physical training instructor. “I’m working directly with our recruits helping to prepare them mentally and physically so they can be their best and safest when serving their communities.”

Photo of Tpr. David Brelinski

For these troopers, different paths led them to a career in policing, but each show the opportunities available professionally and personally for those who make the switch.

“There is no limit to what you can do and where you can go as a State Trooper,” said Trooper Spoeri, who is assigned to the Flint Post. “A female trooper I met in an employee resource group helped solidify my decision to make the switch from the civilian to enlisted side.”

Photo of Tpr. Emily Spoeri sitting with fellow troopers during Trooper Recruit School graduation

No matter the path you are on, there’s a place for you in the MSP.  We’re actively recruiting for future trooper recruit schools. Anyone interested in learning more should visit for information on how to apply or to connect with a recruiter.