There's a classic one-liner from back in the day, defining "mixed emotions" as watching your (fill in the blank) in-law going over a cliff in your new Cadillac. It a dated joke but it does convey the point. I thought of it this morning when I got not one, not two, but three separate emails from the three closest Michigan State Police posts each praising their post's Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC) award winner "for his long-term contribution and commitment to traffic safety in Michigan."

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The three troopers honored are Tpr. Brandon Oaks of the Michigan State Police (MSP) Marshall Post, Tpr. Eric T. Desch of the Wayland Post, and Tpr. Russell Bawks of the Niles Post. The three troopers are being awarded the Richard H. Austin Long-Term Service Award. Austin was the longest-serving secretary of state in Michigan history (1971-1995) and had a national "reputation as an outstanding and effective advocate for traffic safety", according to the State Police.

Oaks has put in 22 years with his expertise is in drug enforcement and in dealing with drug- and alcohol-impaired subjects. Bawks has "logged more than 285,000 miles in his patrol car. For many of those years, he handled calls for service along with patrolling the freeways. While working as part of the Fifth District Hometown Security Team, Trooper Bawks responded to a 193-car pileup during inclement weather and became a large part of a quick-response team to crashes in the snowbelt of Southwest Michigan."

Trooper Desch "led the MSP Wayland Post in total citations and hazardous citations. During the same period, he wrote 321 total traffic citations, 94 percent of which were for hazardous violations."

All commendable, but something about being the trooper who wrote the most tickets just takes a little time to digest and not have it stick in your craw. Congratulations on a job well done.

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