Michigan State Police Director Col. Joseph Gasper paid a visit to the Tri-City Post Thursday. Col. Gasper, who became the agency’s 19th director on January 1, is visiting each of the districts and posts he oversees around the state.
Gaspar, who grew up in Newaygo, joined the Michigan State Police in August 1998, serving as a uniform trooper for the first five years at the Neugunee Post in the Upper Peninsula. He was promoted up through the ranks, serving with the Executive Protection Unit in 2004, where he served on Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s security detail, then as a detective sergeant at the Grand Haven Post.
Col. Gasper was promoted to lieutenant with the Southwest Enforcement Team in Battle Creek, then to first lieutenant in charge of the Executive Protection Section later that year. He was promoted to captain in 2013, and put in charge of the newly-created State Executive Security Division, which later became the Special Operations Division.
As commander, Col. Gasper was responsible for specialty teams including the Canine Unit, Aviation Unit, Bomb Squad and Marine Services Unit. He was elected in 2016 to serve as Vice President of the Midwest Region for the National Governors Security Association. He also represents the MSP on the Michigan Aeronautics Commission.
Col. Gasper holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northern Michigan University.