Menominee native Kelsey Sipple is a Michigan State Trooper.
Menominee native Kelsey Sipple is a Michigan State Trooper.
MENOMINEE - A 2009 graduate of Menominee High School is among the latest recruits to come out of the Michigan State Police Academy. Kelsey Sipple, 23, daughter of Lenny and Debbie Sipple of Menominee, is just one of 10 women to graduate in a class of 90 law enforcement officers.

Not everyone who was accepted to the academy made it through; two dozen didn't make the cut. But failure is simply not in Sipple's vocabulary.

"I've always wanted to be a police officer ever since I was little, so I pursued a degree in criminal justice," she said. A product of Northern Michigan University, Sipple earned an associate degree in criminal justice and will be returning for her bachelor's.

Some of the inspiration for her career choice may go to her grandfather and two of her uncles. All three have served as reserve police officers.

"At the time I don't think I knew they were in the reserves, I just thought they were police officers. I just have always wanted to be there for others and hopefully make a difference, as cheesy as that sounds," she said. "I've always kind of had that drive in my sight and I think a career in law enforcement is where I can see myself being."

For the time being, Sipple is assigned to the Iron Mountain Post as a probationary Trooper where she covers both Iron and Dickinson counties. She will spend several months training with veterans before becoming a full-fledge member of the force. She's currently in an introductory phase where she's familiarizing herself with the territory. During her training she's also allowed to make traffic stops for minor offenses.

In an era where jobs can be pretty tight, the state opened a window of opportunity for training and hiring additional Troopers. This was another positive selling point for the young Trooper.

"I wasn't real sure where it would take me," she said. "The State Police is just a highly respected job itself and the officers are very respected in their communities. I wanted to work for a department like that and represent them."

Being in law enforcement or the military comes with an element of risk. While it's usually not a tough choice for those in uniform, it can be tough for parents. But Sipple said her mom and dad have been very supportive.

"They were probably a little nervous, but they did a really good job of explaining what's to come, but also letting me make my own decisions and encouraging me in the decisions I make," she said. "I think they were more nervous when they thought I was going to get sent to Detroit, because that obviously has a lot more risks, but anything could happen here in the U.P., too."

Sipple has only been on the job a short time but says the other Troopers, her sergeants and the Post commander have all made her working environment comfortable by being welcoming and professional.

"My career goal for now is just to uphold the tradition of the Michigan State Police and make a difference within my department and in my community, wherever that's going to be," she said.