Archived Story

Trooper Rob: On the recruiting front

Published 5:08pm Thursday, October 25, 2012

I apologize for my regular readers for missing last week’s article. It was the quarterly training time for my fellow Community Service Troopers (CST) and me. We received updates on various topics such as computer crimes, recruiting and other programs your local CSTs are involved in.

On the recruiting front, as I and other CSTs are also recruiters, are expecting to be busy in the near future. On Oct. 19, we graduated 78 troopers from the 123rd Recruit School. The 124th Recruit School begins Oct. 28, with about 130 new recruits. The goal is to have an academy each May and October until we reach 1,400 troopers. Then one school a year to handle attrition rates. Tpr. Maurice Burton and I are recruiters for Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.

Emergency preparedness is still one of our priorities within the state. Tpr. Burton and I are Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainers and are making a list for a future class if you are interested. We train a person in basic first aid, fire response and light search and rescue, along with other emergency response topics. We are also teaching Student Tools for Emergency Preparedness (STEP) to fifth- graders in selected schools. This eight-hour lesson teaches students they can be a part of individual, family and community readiness. If you know of a student involved with t STEP, take time to listen to their exciting training. They were issued backpacks to begin their individual go-kits. It’s been exciting teaching these students to become responsible citizens in this area. We are also encouraging businesses to be involved and “Get Ready.” Call for further information on setting up a business plan for readiness and safety. Bullying is a topic that has been around for many years and is something we would like to see diminish. We are constantly getting new information and teaching techniques on this important life-changing event. We are encouraging the bystanders to get involved. There is strength in numbers, and they definitely outnumber the victims and bullies.

In the line of duty

Tprs. Bryon Egelski, 30, and Danielle Teunion-Smith reported as partners for the midnight shift at the St. Clair Post on July 11, 1994. Just after 11:30 p.m., they were dispatched to a roll-over crash. Tpr. Egelski activated the overhead lights and siren to respond. Heading west on Davis Road, the patrol car approached the stop sign at the intersection at Range Road. It is not certain if Tpr. Egelski stopped before entering the intersection, where the patrol car was struck broadside by a northbound vehicle. The driver apparently did not see the flashing red overhead lights of the patrol car in time to avoid the crash.

The force of the impact spun both vehicles off the roadway. The patrol car erupted into flames with both critically injured troopers trapped inside. Engaged in a traffic stop just 200 yards away, Martysville Police officer Gary Holowitz rushed to the scene and quickly extinguished the fire and rendered aid and is credited with saving the life of Tpr. Teunion-Smith. Both troopers were extricated and transported to Port Huron Mercy Hospital where Tpr. Egelski was pronounced dead of his injuries on arrival.

Tpr. Teunion-Smith was eventually placed on disability retirement. Tpr. Egelski, who entered the department on August 20, 1989, was awarded the posthumous memorial medal and is buried in Alpena. He was the 45th trooper killed in the line of duty.

Email questions and comments to or, to sign up for any training mentioned above, call (269) 683-4411.

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