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      The life of a Yooper Trooper

      Recruit Jay Hills during a drowning scenario

      For the past 13 years, Mark Giannunzio has been a trooper with the Michigan State Police.

      Giannunzio said he still remembers what it was like to be a recruit.

      "I remember all of the stressful parts of the recruit school, such as the water safety program, the physical confrontation program, where we do boxing and defensive tactics. Even the fun things, such as the driving portion of the recruit school. It's fun, but it's very stressful because the requirements to pass it are so high," said Giannunzio.

      Troopers spend up to 12 hours of their day inside their patrol cars.

      "That's their mobile office. That's where they're going to be all the time. They're going to be putting many miles on their cars so it's important that they get, not only, good defensive driving skills, but also good performance driving skills," said Lieutenant Jim Flegel.

      Born and raised in Norway, Trooper Giannunzio is stationed at the St. Ignace Post/Manistique Detachment, and he said his favorite part about being a trooper is serving the public.

      "I'm able to put a positive spin on even the worst of situations at times. I love what I do. You're constantly dealing with people in a positive and a negative light, and it's all of what you make it," Giannunzio said.

      Along one of the walls, inside the Michigan State Police Academy, a sign reads, "A proud tradition of service, through excellence, integrity, and courtesy"...something that is required from the very beginning until the end of a trooper's career.

      "Ultimately we like to do our job and portray that image that we are very professional. We have a very high standard of integrity. That is the number one thing that we stress as an instructing staff is an honesty. A recruit that shows a lot of integrity, a lot of character and a lot of honesty," Giannunzio said.

      If you are interested in becoming a trooper with the Michigan State Police, click here.