Michigan State Police to convert Manistique detachment office to outpost

From left, Michigan State Police Sergeant Mark Giannunzio and MSP Trooper Drew Griebel, smile in front of a recently-installed sign for the Michigan State Police Manstique Outpost. (Photo courtesy of the Michigan State Police)

MARQUETTE — The Michigan State Police will be opening its Manistique outpost in Schoolcraft County on or around Jan. 27, officials said.

The Manistique outpost, which had been a detachment office of the Michigan State Police post in St. Ignace, will now be an outpost overseen by the leadership of the Gladstone post, which is about 45 miles closer to Manistique than St. Ignace, said Capt. John Halpin, Michigan State Police Eighth District commander.

“Right now, (we’re) in the process of redefining some post areas and one, in particular, is the Manistique outpost in Schoolcraft County, which came under the leadership of St. Ignace post — which was 90 miles away,” Halpin said.

The outpost will operate out of the former Michigan State Police Manistique Post, which had been converted to a detachment office after it closed, Halpin said. While the outpost will not hold regular business hours, a sergeant and troopers will work out of the building, he said.

“It’s not going to be open normally to the general public, but if a sergeant on duty happens to be working, walk-in traffic is welcome,” he said, noting that they already have posted a sign on the door explaining what to do if assistance is needed and that an emergency call box will be available in the parking lot 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This is the first change of its kind in the state, Halpin said, noting that he feels the change will benefit the public, as well as troopers.

“We need to get the detachments — or outposts now — closer to a bigger post,” he said. “Ninety miles away was just too much to ask the public and troopers to be driving. This is a small step and we’re going to see how it goes.”

Making the Manistique location an outpost, rather than a detachment, will allow greater consistency for troopers, he said, as they can be formally assigned to the outpost and choose to live in the surrounding community without worry of a transfer.

“The reason for the change in the names is basically so we can assign troopers to that specific work location without fear of them begin transferred or being bumped to a different shift,” he said, adding that this will provide “a lot more stability for the workers and community.”

Furthermore, Halpin said he expects the switch for the outpost to be under the leadership of the Michigan State Police Gladstone Post will save money due to the reduced commute and the minimal setup costs, as the state police already owns the building and had been paying utility costs while it operated as a detachment.

“In the long run, we’re going to save because we’re assigning vehicles right there, we’re going to lose that 90-mile commute,” Halpin said.

While Halpin acknowledged rumors about other state police posts, such as the Munising post, reopening in the Upper Peninsula, he said they are unfounded at this time. However, he did note “there are other areas in the state that would benefit from this type of thinking, so we’re going to see how the Manistique post goes and go from there.”

Overall, Halpin said the goal of repurposing the Manistique detachment to an outpost was to help the Michigan State Police serve citizens better, and hopes to see it benefit the community.

“We’re always looking at ways to improve,” he said.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.