Open Access Senior Honors Thesis
History and Philosophy
The Michigan State Police were first organized to protect the state’s infrastructure and quell labor disputes during World War I. Structured along the lines of a paramilitary organization, the State Police quickly developed a reputation for Nativism and anti-radical agendas. By the 1930s, the force had transformed into a state wide investigation and policing agency with broad support in the population and state government. Here, archival records and police publications are used to ascertain the role of Prohibition and rum running in the force’s transformation.
Examination begins with an overview of the national movement to establish state policing agencies, and its roots in nativism. The effects of prohibition in the incorporation of heavy weapons, new tactics, and technologies taking place during this period are also discussed. Most important to the State Police’s transformation was its changing public opinion, allowing it to expand in the face of labor opposition.
Weber, Timothy, "Crime Pays: The Role of Prohibition and Rum Running along US 112 in the Transformation of the Michigan State Police" (2005). Senior Honors Theses & Projects. 6.