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State Trooper Boyer retires after 31 years

Submitted photo MICHIGAN State Trooper Steve Boyer recently retired after serving 31 years at the Iron Mountain post. Boyer said he could not have done it without the support of his family — from left are wife Theresa, Trooper Boyer and sons Treydon, Tannon and Tylen. Not shown is daughter Teagan.

By JIM PAUL

Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN — After 31 years at the Iron Mountain post, Steve Boyer has done his final shift as a trooper with the Michigan State Police.

Boyer’s last day on patrol came on Memorial Day. He then had to travel downstate to turn in his badge, which had been in his family for 57 years.

Boyer comes from a family of state troopers. In addition to his father, who served for 26 years, Boyer attended the academy with his brother-in-law, Rich Tucker. Tucker’s son, Cody, is now with the state police, making 89 years and counting of combined service.

“It is in my blood. My father did it. I grew up watching him polish his badge and outfit his uniform,” Boyer said. “So I watched him my whole life and became interested in the law in some shape or form.”

Aside from the family tradition, Boyer said helping others and being a part of the community were also reasons he got into law enforcement.

“I enjoy people and am a people person. I like talking to people,” he said. “It is an open door to get involved with people’s lives and help them through the difficult times. The people that cannot fight for themselves, you fight for them, that was always my intent.”

During his career, Boyer never considered himself a big ticket writer.

“If I saw somebody on the side of the road that needed help, that was my thing,” he said.

Boyer, who grew up in Alpena, said times have changed when it comes to post assignments. Troopers now can pick their exact post. When Boyer finished at the academy, he had to choose regions where he would like to be assigned; the Upper Peninsula was third on his list.

Boyer said even though his father is from Rapid River and his mother is from Escanaba, when he got assigned to the Iron Mountain post he had to look it up on a map.

Early in his career, Boyer thought about possibly transferring near Alpena but getting a desired post can be difficult. Boyer said about halfway through his career, he — along with his wife, Theresa, and their four children — decided Iron Mountain would be their permanent home.

“The plan was not to stay here, but Iron Mountain gets in your heart and the people are wonderful and it is beautiful,” Theresa Boyer said.

Not only did Boyer spend his whole law enforcement career at the Iron Mountain post, he spent most of that time working the night shift, which caused him to make many sacrifices. Boyer said he worked many weekends and missed time with the family, especially on the holidays, and he was not able to coach his children’s sports teams.

In his time with the state police, Boyer thinks he made a difference.

When he started, drunken driving was a much bigger problem than it is now and that public awareness and the arrival of taxi services have helped, Boyer said. But now drugged driving is becoming a bigger problem.

“There are still all the same crimes happening, so it is not like you ended it. They do not ever completely stop,” Boyer said. “I think this town is the right size where you can actually feel like you made a difference.”

Boyer has no choice but to retire. MSP policy is a limit of 25 years; however, he was able to work another six years under Michigan’s deferred retirement option plan. But he didn’t coast his last years into retirement — he actually accumulated less vacation and sick time than he did the rest of his career.

He will miss the camaraderie of law enforcement officers from all the local agencies, not only from Dickinson County but Iron and Menominee counties as well, Boyer said.

He will also miss serving the community that has treated him so well.

Boyer plans to stay busy in retirement. He looks forward to getting more involved with the community and becoming involved with his church’s youth group.

Boyer plans to continue teaching gym class at the Iron Mountain Homeschool Partnership, which he has done for the past six years.

Boyer will also remain a part of a critical incident stress management team that provides peer-to-peer support for police, firefighters, dispatchers and EMS workers who are having a difficult time dealing with a serious incident.

Most of all, Boyer looks forward to spending more time with his family, including grandchildren in the Madison, Wis. area. He said his family made his career possible.

“I have an amazing wife that stuck by me, was understanding and sent me off with amazing meals so many nights so I got to eat good food and not fast food,” Boyer said. “Also, my kids have been amazing throughout the whole thing — it is a family thing, not something you do on your own.”

Boyer has begun the process of trying to have the badge he and his father shared retired.

Jim Paul can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 229, or jpaul@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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