A Day in the Life of a Michigan State Police Trooper
Office of Performance and Transformation's Communication Representative Monica Drake will be following different State of Michigan employees throughout the year.
A typical day for Trooper Will Huey consists of going into the Michigan State Police Flint Post at 6 a.m. dressed in blue and patrolling the city's streets until 6 p.m.
But that's really the only thing that's "typical" about Huey's days.
Huey said he enjoys the variety of his job.
"There's always something different. Every day, you never know what you're going to get," he said.
For instance, during the ride along, Huey, along with undercover officers and a police K9, arrested an alleged heroin dealer.
"The hardest part of my job is the frustration of dealing with the same people over and over again. We just do the best we can and keep a positive attitude," said Huey.
To find the drugs, the officers, Viper the K9 and Viper's handler Trooper Troy Szukhent searched under floor boards, in ceiling tiles, in book shelves, in closets and even in a bag of dog food.
Besides the drug bust that day, Huey also helped residents who were in a fender bender, and he pulled over a woman who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, although he didn't write her a ticket.
"Some stops are educational instead of punitive. She will probably remember that she had a good experience with state police," said Huey.
"It's nice to help people out. People don't expect it. They don't think of us as just being nice. … My favorite thing is when I deal with someone and, in the end, they say, 'Wow, you're a lot nicer than I expected you to be.'"
Huey said that things have changed since he first became a police officer 17 years ago.
"It's hard to get people to listen to us because they don't trust us. It's really unfortunate because, we're there for them, unless they're doing something wrong. Then, we're there to straighten things out," he said. "With that barrier that's been put in place in recent years, it makes our job harder, and we're not going to be as effective."
Huey said, with the recent negative press about police in the national news, one thing he would like citizens to know is that those cases are the minority.
"The vast majority of state troopers are looking to treat people fairly. They're just doing their job. When we come in contact with people – good, bad or indifferent – I just wish they would give us a chance and hear us out."
Monica's next planned interview will be with a Michigan Department of Transportation snowplow driver.