State Police celebrate past, future
HERMANSVILLE — An estimated 1,200 people came to the IXL Historical Museum in Hermansville for the Michigan State Police (MSP) Gladstone Post’s open house Thursday. The event was held in recognition of the MSP’s 100th anniversary on April 19, 2017.
First Lt. Gregory Cunningham, MSP Gladstone Post commander, said the Gladstone Post had held open house events leading up to the MSP’s 100th anniversary. While its previous open houses had been held in Gladstone, the post changed the location of Thursday’s event due to the historical significance of Hermansville to the MSP.
“This is where we started … our first detachment of police troopers in the area was here in Hermansville,” he said.
Cunningham said the change of location also allowed Gladstone Post personnel to reach out to citizens elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula.
“(We) also wanted a chance to connect with citizens of Menominee County and Hermansville,” he said. At least 1,200 people were present at the event. About 600 were students from area schools including North Central, Hannahville, Bark River-Harris, and Holy Name.
Historical information about the MSP was provided to attendees — including information about John Maga, one of the area’s first troopers. Eva Farley, Maga’s daughter, provided the Gladstone Post with photos of Maga that were displayed at the event.
“It’s just wonderful. I’m just thrilled,” Farley said of the event.
MSP Det. Sgt. Jeremy Hauswirth rode on horseback while wearing a vintage uniform during the open house.
“This was something… to commemorate how we started,” he said.
Hauswirth said the process of preparing for the event was quite elaborate.
“I had to find all the uniform parts, which aren’t exactly easy to come by,” he said. His wife, Laurie Hauswirth, gave him riding lessons; the horse he rode, “Katy,” belongs to his daughter Lyneha.
The history of the MSP was also shown in the form of vintage police vehicles. One of the vehicles, a restored 1940 Ford, belongs to Escanaba resident Fred Sundstrom. Inspired by the MSP’s anniversary and the exhibition of a 1937 Ford by the MSP in Lansing, Sundstrom contacted the Gladstone Post to let them know he had a similar vehicle which could be made to look like an old-fashioned police car.
“I went ahead and spent all winter getting it set up… and I had a lot of fun doing it,” he said. Among other changes, he added police signage and beacon lighting to his vehicle for the event.
Open house attendees were also able to learn about the services offered by the MSP today.
“This just gives the community a chance to see what kind of equipment we have and what our capabilities are,” Sgt. J.D. Buck said. Buck works with the MSP bomb squad in Grayling.
During the open house, robots used by the bomb squad were demonstrated.
“This is usually one of the favorite things for people to see,” Buck said.
Attendees also had a chance to see K-9 “Bach” and his handler, Trooper Kyle Kelley, in action. Kelley said Bach was warmly received by students at the event.
“The dog’s always a hit, especially if there’s kids around,” he said.
Pembine resident Terry Stahl said he was pleased with the strong turnout seen at the open house.
“This is just absolutely outstanding,” he said. “I can’t believe the crowd.”
Stahl also noted he greatly enjoyed the demonstrations given during the event.
“All of the demonstrations were informative — questions were answered in detail,” he said.
Escanaba resident Sally Kidd said she enjoyed the event, and she was glad local students were able to attend it.
“I think it’s been especially good for the school kids,” she said.
State Rep. Beau LaFave, who also attended the open house, said he was proud of what the MSP has accomplished over the years.
“They do a heck of a job protecting the residents of the Upper Peninsula, and they deserve a show of support,” he said.