Troopers in training: Brian Savard

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.

October 19, 2012. For Genesee County's Brian Savard, it is a moment he will treasure for the rest of his life - fulfilling a lifelong goal to become a state trooper.

â??I grew up looking at a state police trooper. My dad retired from the state police,â?? Savard said..

For Savard, and his classmates of the 123rd Michigan State Police recruit school, the 19 weeks it took to get to this life-changing moment seemed like an eternity.

â??Each day is its own challenge,â?? recruit school director Sgt. Kandyce Herr said. â??And just getting through the challenges of each class, and each day, is a goal for the recruits,â?? she added.

For Brian Savard, accepting the overwhelming challenge of state police recruit school was heightened by the fact he was already a nine-year veteran with the Grand Blanc Township Police Department.

â??Dad did not talk me out of it, no,â?? Savard said.

â??He did say, though, there'd be some Sundays driving back to Lansing that you'd be wondering why you made this decision.â??

It would be a question Savard would repeatedly ask of himself for 19 weeks to come.

â??You're there all week. You know you're going into a grinding week of 17 hours a day. You know you're going to be up at five in the morning, every morning. You know you're going to be yelled at. You're a recruit. When you're right, you're still wrong,â?? Savard described.

Sgt. Herr said, â??When you talk about the challenges of a recruit school, many people say it's like the military, college and prison all rolled into one.â??

Back during Week 12 of recruit school, Savard told Bill Harris, â??You feel like a little kid. It's the little stuff you haven't experienced in a while. Every night when I go to bed, I'm glad I'm there. And then, seven hours later when I'm getting up at five in the morning I'm like, â??Man, why am I here?â??â??

For Savard, that question is rhetorical because he knows, and firmly believes, the answer - the words of his father.

â??Tough it out. It'll be the best career you can make. And it's the best department you can work for,â?? Savard recited. â??And he's living proof. And just follow in his footsteps.â??