Michigan State Troopers go through more than 500 hours of rigorous training before they're able to don that royal blue uniform.
That preparedness is one of the reasons the Arizona Department of Public Safety is returning to Michigan this week to recruit our forces down to the southwest.
"We're looking at Michigan State Police who are looking for another career, or are worried they may be losing their jobs," says Arizona DPS spokesman Harold Sanders.
Arizona's DPS, our state police equivalent, is hoping a stable job market and a $52,000 starting salary will lure police and police hopefuls to Arizona. Their state is having trouble filling hundreds of available trooper jobs.
"We're trying to offer similar jobs that they'd have in Michigan, and they can go anywhere in Arizona they want to live."
Trooper Carissa Schneider of the Lansing MSP post went through the recruiting process in April. She opted to stay in Michigan, but understands the allure.
"For me, the interest is in job security," she says. "I was concerned for a while about being laid off."
The last time the Arizona recruiters came to Michigan, the state troopers here were facing major layoffs. Those layoffs have been averted for now, but Arizona will be taking advantage of the uncertainty regarding our state troopers job stability.
"Arizona is capitalizing on Michigan's misfortune, and I can't blame them," Schneider says. "Troopers are frustrated, especially those with families. They have these layoffs hanging over their heads, wondering if they'll have a job next year."
With an uncertain 2008 budget year looming, the southwest may sound even better this time around.