Two Yoopers now state troopers at MSP Calumet Post

New recruits currently on a 17-week training session, preparing to work on their own
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - In Houghton County, two Yoopers are now working as troopers.

The Michigan State Police allow more diverse opportunities for officers who want to cover more than a single county or town. For new recruits Josh Barnett and Colin Pennala, they are living that reality - covering all of Houghton, Keweenaw, and Baraga counties.

“I like it,” said Barnett. “It means a lot to come back to the area that you’re familiar with to serve the people that we know personally.”

“I’ve lived here for four or five years,” Pennala stated, “so I know the area pretty well. It’s been good knowing my way around starting out in this job.”

The recruits underwent six months of training in Lansing, before being assigned to the Calumet Post last month. Barnett, who already has three years of law enforcement experience at the baraga county sheriff’s office, says the recruit school taught both of them well. Now, they are currently in the next training phase.

“We have a 17-week on-the-job training period with another trooper to learn the ins and outs of the job and get us ready to work by ourselves,” Barnett explained.

So what is a day in the life like for these two “Yooper Troopers?”

“Our duties change every day,” said Pennala, “whether it would be different patrols (or different areas that you patrol) or different complaints that you get called out to.”

For Pennala and Barnett, this opportunity is all about serving those they care about.

“When you work this job, you tend to get to know a lot of people in the area,” Barnett stated. “When you can help somebody out that you know, I think that’s a pretty cool thing to do.”

Both new troopers pledge to uphold the law and to keep the people of Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga counties safe in their communities.

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