Majority of MSP recruit class women, minorities

Posted at 9:45 AM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 09:45:08-04

They train for 17 hours a day in the most intense police training in the state.

"It's intense, it's not easy. A lot of physical activity, it's very physically demanding. But every day wake up, get through it, you push through it and every day you go on to the next day every day, you get better and better every day, just a little bit better and by the end you'll come out as a Michigan State Trooper, that's everyone's goal here," said Lulu Ghannam, an MSP recruit in the academy right now. She grew up in Michigan but comes from heritage is Lebanese.

And this group of MSP trooper recruits is different from any trooper class to come before them. "It was about 53 percent minorities and women, it was a very diverse class," Sgt. Dwayne Gill, with MSP recruiting and selection, said. Making it the most diverse group in MSP history.

"Especially in the climate that we have nowadays, you want to make sure you have individuals who look like the communities we serve. People of color, people of different backgrounds, ethnicity, are more successful dealing with the public and coming to other conflict resolutions," Gill said.

It's an important step forward for the police and the community, but also for the recruits who were given a chance. "Make a difference in the world. Being a role model for Asian Americans, and especially small Asian American women who have been, who have grown up their entire lives being told that they're weak or that they can't amount to anything," Stephanie Chang said with tears in her eyes. "That's what I'm looking most forward to, being a role model for them."