Former University of Detroit Mercy athlete working as a state trooper during COVID-19 pandemic

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published April 29, 2020

 Former University of Detroit Mercy athlete working as a state trooper during COVID-19 pandemic

Former University of Detroit Mercy athlete working as a state trooper during COVID-19 pandemic

Photo provided by University of Detroit Mercy athletics

While some people have been afforded the opportunity to work at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, that is not a feasible option for everyone.

One such person is Brandee Hart, who is a state trooper for the Michigan State Police.

The 2010 Berkley High graduate began her current position after graduating from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2014, where she was a sprinter and hurdler for the university’s track and field program.

As is the case for so many, her role has changed due to COVID-19.

“It’s changed quite a bit,” Hart said. “I work the city of Flint. … With that, I’m supposed to double up every day because of the high-crime rate. But now, it’s like we can’t double up. We can’t make many traffic stops; it’s suggested that we don’t. … When I go to work it’s a complete different job right now. But if you get a call and you go somewhere and someone may potentially have it, you still have to go.”

Hart said she never thought the situation would "get this bad."

“I still love being a trooper; I still love my job. … Just as people, outside of being a trooper, we wish it was over because (of) the impact that it’s had on a lot (of) people, and people’s families and stuff,” she said.

Perhaps the biggest challenge police officers and troopers have faced during the pandemic is attempting to break up large groups of people.

“It is difficult because once it gets warm outside, it’s hard to keep people inside,” Hart said. “People will call because there’s a group of more than 10 people. Especially the younger generation, they’re going a little crazy. When it gets hot out they (want to) hang out with their friends and stuff, and I get it. But I think it’s way safer to stay in, deal with this, and let it die down before we start to go out again.”

Aside from being supplied with items such as masks and gloves for personal protection, Hart also has a mentality that can serve her well on the job.

“When you get sworn into this job, you go to everything and try to be as fearless as possible,” she said. “Even before the virus, there (were) calls that you would go to that were just as dangerous. So, I think I can speak for most (troopers) when I say they go there with a clear head. We were trained very well to do this job.”