Troopers join Michigan State Police Wakefield Post


April 9, 2019

Bryan Hellios/Daily Globe

WAKEFIELD POST 86's new Michigan State Police troopers, from left, Stefin Robinson, of Gladstone; Paul Maxinoski, Montreal Wis.; Evan Fezatt, Negaunee; stand ready to help the community.


Wakefield - The Michigan State Police Wakefield Post 86 recently had three troopers join its ranks.

Stefin Robinson, Paul Maxinoski and Evan Fezatt completed 28 weeks at the MSP's training academy and all three said the training was "intense."

"I thought I was in good shape going in, but I'm definitely in better shape now," Fezatt said.

F/Lt. Donald Horn, commander of the Wakefield Post, recognized how difficult it is to become a trooper.

"For a recruit to make it through the MSP Academy, it is quite an accomplishment," he said. "We're proud of them."

The academy gives new officers a "good foundation" and the department has to build on that, he added.

Horn said the Wakefield Post has been understaffed for several years, and "getting three cubs this year is a big blessing."

Cub is a nickname given to probationary troopers until they have more recruits underneath them, he added.

All three new troopers have roots in the Northwoods.

Fezatt said as a kid in Negaunee, he grew up close to a state patrol post. Watching their vehicles drive by every day led him to studying criminal justice in college. After an internship and a few "ride alongs" with officers, he said his decision to go into law enforcement was "pretty easy."

He is excited about coming back to a "small town atmosphere" and said he enjoys having the ability to know people and have familiar faces around.

Robinson said the training was tough due to long days and little sleep, but he's happy he went through it.

"It was a long journey," he said.

Growing up in Gladstone, Robinson said watching his father - who has been a police officer for 23 years - fueled his desire to want to help people.

"I want to bring a friendly face," he said. "I want to make a difference and I want to be out there and help this community the best I can."

Maxinoski, originally from Montreal, Wis., said the training to become a MSP officer was more difficult then his time spent at boot camp in the Marines.

Boot camp was more basic and centered around teaching traditions and drill exercises, he said adding the MSP academy combined boot camp, advanced infantry school plus a law program.

Maxinoski admits the law portion of the training posed the most problematic for him because he said academics does not come easy for him.

"I think I've always had to work harder than most people just to get my A's and B's," he said.

He hopes to become a role model within the community and work with young people who may need guidance.

"I felt the need to want to come back after serving four years in the Marine Corps and be a positive example for others to follow," he added.

A little more than 1,100 applicants applied for recruit school and 136 were selected to participate with their class. From the 136, 111 completed the academy and have the opportunity to become MSP troopers.

In his 18 years of being stationed in Wakefield, Horn said he has seen many young troopers begin their careers here.

"It brings a sense of pride and it also brings me back to the time when I was a youngster getting into the department," he said. "It brings back a lot of good memories."


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