New MSP director working to diversify trooper ranks

Michigan's new state police director says he wants to diversify the trooper ranks and, on that, he and the governor agree, but there are other issues where the two are not on the same page.

Urban community leaders continue to push for more minorities, with 86 percent of state troopers being white, and the governor's new state police director says he gets that.

For the first time, he is asking those urban leaders to be part of the trooper recruit school.

"I have invited some of them to participate as role players in a scenario in our recruit school," said Col. Joseph Gasper. "Hopefully we can learn something from each other."

The state police under the previous director suffered a set back in community relations when Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue criticized those football players for taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest police treatment of some minorities. Col. Etue apologized and was reprimanded.

"It's not my position to say that she was right or wrong. It's not something I would have done," Col. Gasper said.

On other issues, the governor has talked about banning assault weapons. Gasper was asked three times if he favored a ban and three times he declined to answer.

Skubick: "Why won't you answer that question about banning assault weapons?"

Col. Gasper: "I think that is a question for the legislature."

Another question for the legislature was banning the cops from keeping confiscated property unless there was a conviction and the governor signed it. But the governor's top cop doesn't think a conviction is needed.

"I wouldn't say that there needs to be a conviction," he said.