Captain Greg Michaud has spent the last 17 years in the forensics science division of the Michigan State Police. He has recently been promoted to division commander of a new division: biometrics and identification.
Q: WHAT TYPE OF THINGS DO YOU DO NOW IN YOUR NEW POSITION?
A: Starting a new division with the Michigan State Police … I’m leaving a
forensic science environment and moving into what is called biometrics. Simply put, biometrics is a means by which you can identify a person by their physical characteristics and/or behavioral characteristics. Bringing that down to a laymen’s term — we’re using the fingerprints, the palm prints, their mug shots, their DNA, getting into initiatives like facial recognition and iris detection.
Q: HAS IT BEEN A CHALLENGE TO START A WHOLE NEW DIVISION?
A: It is indeed a challenge because we’re competing for resources; there’s no new money coming in to help set up this division. So what we’ve done is we’re working with other division commanders (and) we’re taking some of their resources and putting them in this division to stand it up …. Forensics started off decades ago, and you can see the interest forensics has with Hollywood right now and on TV — every other show you turn on seems to have some forensics component to it — biometrics is the forensics of yesterday. There’s just some huge interest in this field, so it’s exciting to get this opportunity to again mold something from scratch and be a part of its origins, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Q: HOW HAS YOUR JOB AFFECTED THE WAY YOU PARENT?
A: Especially in this line of work — public safety and law enforcement — you see the worst of what society can bring. I think it makes you an overprotective parent, and you want to be there as much as you can for them and continue to parent them and make sure that they’re making all the right decisions, so that they don’t find themselves one day in that environment that will lead them down the wrong path. So it has made me a very cautious parent. The one thing that I have learned about being a parent is … you want your parents to be proud of you, and I think the one lesson that I’ve learned being a parent is that you want your kids to be equally proud of you. If you’ve got those things going for you, then everything else will be fine.