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      SWAT-style team makes appearance at State Police post open house

      The Michigan State Police Post in Iron Mountain holds an open house every year for curious residents looking to find out more about what they do.

      They had the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad team, a crime scene forensics truck, the DNR, and other services present. Rambo, the canine trooper, made an appearance as well, and people enjoyed learning about his police role.

      â??If someone takes off running into the woods or something, the dog will sniff it out to help them catch the guys,â?? said attendee, Liam Pomroy.

      However, one of the more interactive groups was the Emergency Support Team.

      â??Itâ??s basically the State Police version of SWAT,â?? said Sergeant Matthew LaBonte. â??We deal with barricaded gunmen, hostage situations; we serve arrest warrants.â??

      Everyone on the ES team is either a trooper or sergeant at their respective Michigan State Police posts and are ready to respond at crisis situations.

      â??The same thing happens in the Upper Peninsula as they do downstate, it just seems like low volumes of it,â?? LaBonte said. â??Weâ??ve had hostage calls; we had a hostage call last year in Delta County, it just depends. There could be three calls tonight or it might take a year for something else to happen up here. If we're needed, great. If not, even better.â??

      They go through extensive training to equip them to not only complete the difficult tasks, but to be able to do it with pounds and pounds of equipment on their backs and shoulders.

      â??It all goes back to the training and being familiar with everything,â?? LaBonte said. â??You have to put the gear on really fast and usually in the dark if it's at nighttime.â??

      After doing some interactive activities and learning more about what the Michigan State Police does, some of the kids said they could see themselves being state police troopers when they grow up.