Citizens needed to help with MSP traffic stop training -- How to volunteer

Michigan State Police troopers want to show citizens some of the training recruits receive by allowing them to participate in exercises.

The public is invited to participate in traffic stops at the Fort Custer Training Center in Battle Creek next month. Volunteers will act as drivers and passengers.

"We're looking for unique ways to bridge the gap with the people we serve," said Col. Joe Gasper, director of  MSP. "This is an excellent opportunity for residents to see how recruits are learning and practicing the skills they'll ultimately use on the job. This training opportunity will provide valuable insight to both the recruits and civilian participants."

MSP said this will diversify the training the recruits receive and give civilians a chance to see what troopers learn.

"This is the first time we'll be including members of the public in our training scenarios," said Capt. James Grady, commander of the MSP Training Division. "We want to offer our recruits as realistic and diverse training experiences as possible, and we see this opportunity as a win-win given that the civilian participants will gain a better understanding of how our troopers are trained to conduct traffic stops, which is the most common interaction civilians have with police officers."

The training will be held Jan.10-12, 2022. Space is limited and applications are due by Dec. 17, 2021.

Volunteers must be 18 or older and have a driver's license. A background check is required and there will be a search for weapons at the training center. Click here to sign up.