Excelling in the line of duty

U.P. Michigan State Police troopers receive Mapes Award

MARQUETTE — Multiple Michigan State Police troopers from the Upper Peninsula were recognized for their service Wednesday in Lansing. They were honored with the Cpl. Samuel A. Mapes Criminal Patrol and Investigation Award, which recognizes the “top 5 percent of troopers in each district for looking ‘past the traffic stop’ to excel in proactive criminal patrol,” officials said.

The 11 troopers who were recognized Wednesday hailed from across the U.P., and officials said they were glad to see them honored in this fashion.

“I feel very proud to have these individuals recognized for their outstanding work over the course of 2018 who are out there doing investigations and protecting the citizens,” Michigan State Police Eighth District Commander John Halpin said. “This is a very, very high honor in our department to be recognized on the state level for great work that they do day in and day out. And we are very fortunate to have such high-caliber police officers working in the Upper Peninsula.”

Of the 11 troopers in the U.P. who were recognized, four of them — troopers Randy Rovelsky, Alan Park, Shane Hauff and Andrew Peterson — were from the Michigan State Police Negaunee post.

“We have a lot of younger troopers here that are go-getters and work very hard on traffic and criminal arrests,” Sgt. Brent Rosten of the Michigan State Police Negaunee said. “We’re the busiest county in the Upper Peninsula and the troopers out here work very hard and get a lot of felony arrests.”

The other U.P. troopers recognized with the award were Eric Farnsworth of the Gladstone post; Jay Hills of the Michigan State Police Hometown Security Team; Paul Ferraro of the Sault Ste. Marie post; Samuel Ekola of the St. Ignace post; Cole Hodge of the Iron Mountain post; Alexander Sackmann of the Wakefield post and Nicole Dyson of the Calumet post.

Halpin, who was able to attend Wednesday’s ceremony with the award recipients, said “it’s quite an honor” to see so many of the U.P. troopers acknowledged for their hard work with the Mapes award.

“It’s just invigorating to see the caliber of people moving up in the ranks,” Halpin said. “It was interesting that statewide, the youngest trooper that received this award had a year and a half in the department, and there were some troopers with over 20 years in. It just shows you that across the board, people are going out every day and working hard.”

Each recipient of the Mapes award received a special service ribbon that features seven blue stars in honor of Mapes, who was an “early pioneer in criminal patrol and investigation,” and the seventh Michigan State Police trooper to die in the line of duty. This is the third year the annual award has been presented.

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