2017-01-19 / Front Page

Two state troopers will be stationed in Leelanau

Including Tropf, from Northport
By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff

Two troopers from the Michigan State Police post in Cadillac will soon be stationed in Leelanau County as part of the “resident trooper concept.”

One of the troopers, Jason Tropf, hails from Leelanau County.

Their presence will help law enforcement efforts, says Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich. The troopers will be given a room at the Sheriff’s Office and will work in Leelanau County, though they will still be employees of the Cadillac post.

Mike Mihalic, a 22-year veteran with the MSP, and Tropf, who was hired in 2014, will be in their new post by Feb. 12.

Tropf is the son of Jeff and Margie Tropf of Northport, both of whom are retired from the Northport school district. He is a graduate of Northport, where he averaged more than 19 points a game as a senior captain on the basketball team, and attended Grand Valley State University.

Though state troopers cover Leelanau County at times, they have not been a regular part of the police presence since the MSP post in Traverse City moved to Cadillac about two years ago, said Borkovich.

The Cadillac post is about 70 miles from the Sheriff’s Office in Suttons Bay Township.

“That meant we saw less of the State Police up here,” Borkovich said. “We love the State Police and residents deserve to have their state troopers here.”

The two troopers will occupy a room that was formerly a break room, which has already been outfitted with two computer docking stations, he said.

“Basically, we provide the space and they provide the troopers,” Borkovich said.

The resident trooper concept was developed for places that are a considerable distance from a state post, said Lt. David Street, commander of the Cadillac post.

Street said the post has had a trooper stationed in Honor for several years under the program because the Traverse City post had a hard time getting a trooper there.

That position has worked very well, he said, and he’s confident it will also work well in Leelanau.

“The program has been successful and proven to provide state police services to rural areas,” Street said.

The troopers will be assigned to the Leelanau County office under the auspices of the Cadillac post, he said.

“They still work for the Cadillac post, so if we have something that develops where we need additional services we can pull them off,” Street said. “But they will work primarily in Leelanau County.”

The MSP will not pay rent for the room in Leelanau County, and the troopers will be provided at no cost to the Sheriff’s Office. Their vehicles, equipment and salaries, including all benefits, will still be paid by the MSP, Street said.

“Basically you’re getting two police officers in Leelanau County through the state,” he said. “So it’s a pretty good deal.”

Borkovich said the extra police hands are very welcome — and needed, particularly when the tourist season gets into full swing.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with people, especially in the warmer months, so it’s good to have the local support of the MSP,” Borkovich said.

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