Brittny Harris, Esq
A new Michigan law has eliminated the rank of "policewoman" in favor of the term "trooper" for its state police officers. Governor Rick Snyder recently removed the antiquated title from the state police list of ranks and duties with the signing of Public Act 12 of 2016, §28.8 (effective May 16, 2016). State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue declared that "a trooper is a trooper" and that classification should be applied equally to men and women. All troopers receive the same level of training and are held to the same standards of service.
Republican Senator Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton says that the "policewoman" term came from a time when female members of the Michigan State Police were paid less than men, and were given a lower rank and title. The new "trooper" term reflects the Police Department's current policy, which is equal pay regardless of gender. There are currently 186 enlisted women that serve across the state in positions from Colonel to Trooper. There are currently 1,612 enlisted men.
Colonel Etue further stated "The Michigan State Police has come a long way since its birth in 1917 with 300 white men," she said. "We now have 186 females serving from trooper to colonel. We're not defined as policewomen. We want to be called troopers."