The Michigan State Police (MSP) is celebrating its 95th anniversary.
"What started as a cavalry of men has evolved into a complex, professional law enforcement agency responsible for not only general police investigative services and traffic patrol, but also forensic science services, statewide criminal justice records management and state homeland security and emergency management," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP.
"As we mark our 95th anniversary, it is a time for us to reflect on our rich history and traditions and remember the dedication and sacrifice of those who served before us."
The MSP's roots date back to World War I when the department began as a temporary, wartime emergency force for the purpose of domestic security.
On April 19, 1917, Gov. Albert Sleeper created the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force, also known as the Michigan State Constabulary. With Col. Roy C. Vandercook as the first commanding officer, this new force consisted of five troops of mounted, dismounted and motorized units.
On March 26, 1919, Public Act 26 reorganized the Constabulary as the permanent, peace-time Michigan State Police.
When Michigan adopted a new Constitution in 1963, authorizing up to 20 departments, Public Act 380 of 1965 reorganized the MSP as one of these departments. The director of the MSP holds the rank of colonel and is appointed by the governor.
Today, the MSP is a modern-day, full-service law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction consisting of 2,340 enforcement and civilian members.
In the Upper Peninsula, MSP has posts in Iron Mountain, Negaunee, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Gladstone, Wakefield and Calumet, with district headquarters in Marquette.
In addition to its role of providing general law enforcement services, the department accepts the unique responsibility for the development and coordination of state-level programs, technologies, and specialized services that enhance enforcement and emergency response capabilities for the entire public safety community.
Gov. Rick Snyder has declared April 2012 as Michigan State Police History Month.
Citizens can show their support for the MSP and join the celebration by taking part in an online birthday party today, via the department's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/michiganstatepolice. Throughout the day, MSP is sharing historical tidbits, photographs and video about the department.