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3 new troopers join Michigan State Police-Alpena Post

News Photo by Julie Riddle Alpena native Jason Kunath directs traffic at a two-vehicle crash in Alpena on Tuesday on his second day as a Michigan State Police trooper at the Alpena Post.

ALPENA — A week after they graduated from Michigan State Police academy, three brand-new troopers joined the Alpena Post on Monday.

On their second day on the job, after getting a feel for directing Alpena traffic around a car crash site, the three chatted about becoming a police officer at a time when fewer and fewer people are choosing the profession.

Kayla Moore, most recently from Mancelona, grew up in a small community where police officers were looked upon as mentors.

She chose the uniform because she wanted to be part of a team that made a difference in kids’ lives, Moore said.

Her new start in Alpena is only the second time she’s been to the city, Moore said, but she requested the region because she loves hunting, fishing, and the outdoors, and knew she’d find them in abundant supply in the Alpena area.

Cass City native Eric Reed, who used to visit this part of the state with his family when he was little, asked to come to Apena out of love for Northeast Michigan.

A former military member, Reed wanted to continue to serve people when he left the Army, and thought joining the police was the way to do it.

For Jason Kunath, the Alpena Post assignment is a homecoming. He’s known he wanted to be a police officer since he was a student at Alpena High School.

A truck driver for the past 13 years, Kunath is ready for a drastic change in careers.

Serious crime is limited in Alpena, he feels, but the city is still susceptible to the influences that cause conflict in the rest of the country, including recent anger against both racism and police that has led to riots in large cities across the country in recent weeks.

Protests locally have been peaceful, for the most part. All the same, Kunath said, the issues that underlie the riots elsewhere are in Northeast Michigan, as well, and need to be addressed.

“Just be nice to each other,” he advised. “Be polite. Smile. It can go a long ways just to be friendly.”

Fresh out of training and new to their uniforms, all three troopers said they intentionally chose Alpena as the place where they wanted to work, and where they are hoping to stay.

“I could have asked to go anywhere in the state,” Kunath said. “And here I am.”

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