Troopers in training: Alicia Sonderegger

Less than a week after graduating from the Michigan State Police recruit school, 78 new troopers are already at work at posts across Michigan. But their 19 weeks of training that got them there will not soon be forgotten. As NBC25â??s Bill Harris witnessed, before becoming a state trooper, your physical and mental abilities are pushed to the max.

Just after 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19. A moment Alicia Sonderegger literally and figuratively fought for, struggled, and persevered - becoming a Michigan State police trooper. It was a 19-week process.

â??What did I sign up for? I was so nervous,â?? Sonderegger said. â??But I was excited.â??

â??Every aspect of the training curriculum is important,â?? Sgt. Kandyce Herr, commander at the recruit school, said.

â??You must achieve a level of proficiency in each one of them. Each one is a hurdle and an obstacle that each recruit must overcome.â??

The recruits are pushed to their physical limits at the training academy. But Sonderegger said their emotions are tested as well. Some of the emotions she said she experienced in her 19 weeks: frustration, anxiety, fear and doubt.

â??This academy specifically pushes you to the limit and then brings you back,â?? Sonderegger said. â??If you don't doubt yourself at some point and fight through that, you didn't learn the lessons that you were probably intended to learn.â??

The lessons that must be learned and mastered are many. Some, though, fall into the category of fun and enjoyable.

â??I enjoyed vehicle submersion,â?? Sonderegger recalled. â??That was an eye-opening experience.â??

There were training exercises Recruit Sonderegger would hope to soon forget.

â??I don't ever want to remember what the pepper spray and the tear gas felt like. But I never want to do it again,â?? Sonderegger said.

Each day, for 19 weeks, is a new experience, a new challenge and one day closer to reaching a lifelong goal.

â??My interest to become a police officer started very young. I was always kind of shadowing my dad at the police department. So there was always a commitment to public service. I can't wait to give that badge to my dad and have him pin it. That's who I am. That's who I represent,â?? Sonderegger said.

One week after her graduation, Trooper Sonderegger, along with the other Genesee County resident we followed through the MSP recruit school, Trooper Brian Savard, are both settling in to their first state police assignment, Post No. 31 in Bay City.