MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield
LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) -- Trooper Butterfield is the 51st officer with the Michigan State Police to die in the line of duty since the organization was established in 1917.
In the last 20 years, seven troopers have died while on duty; two of the last three deaths have happened in West Michigan. The most recent death of a Michigan State Police trooper was Jeffrey Werda, who was killed in a rollover crash near Saginaw while responding to a vehicle pursuit in April 2011.
On July 7, 2003, Trooper Kevin Marshall was killed while storming the home of a barricaded gunman near Fremont. The gunman escaped, but was killed in a confrontation with other troopers six days later.
In 2000, Trooper Rick L. Johnson died from injuries he sustained when he was hit by a vehicle during a traffic stop on I-94 in Van Buren County.
The overwhelming cause of deaths involve vehicle crashes or troopers being struck by a vehicle.
The Fallen Memorial Wall in Lansing was built in 2001 to honor each of the fallen trooper's memories, and is similar to the law enforcement memorial in Washington D.C. It sits on the state police training grounds. The names of all 50 troopers have been engraved in the slanting face of the wall.
Butterfield will be the 51st name on the memorial. WZZM 13 spoke with one Alpena trooper who said he doesn't need to know the trooper to be impacted.
"This is nice, especially for the families. I've stopped by, and look at the names there and know that they're respected and that's huge," said Chuck Collier of the MSP Alpena Post.
Funeral arrangements have not been set for Butterfield, but an MSP spokesman said it would be a significant funeral and troopers from across the country will likely attend.