MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — They say joining a police force is joining a brotherhood, taking an oath to protect your community and to have each other’s backs. Five state troopers with West Michigan roots already have a lot of practice in that area.
The family affair started when Jacob Bowers — the second cousin of the group — decided to join the academy and become a trooper, not realizing plenty more Bowers boys would follow.
“I talked to (my cousin) Brock,” Jacob Bowers said. “He was thinking about moving out here and got him to apply. That’s kind of how it all went down.”
In their ‘little red car,’ Brock Bowers and his wife made the one-way trip from southern California to Michigan, after he served two years as a cop, four years in the Army and six years as an EMT.
“Law enforcement was my greatest passion,” Brock said. “So when connecting that with Michigan, if I’m going to be in Michigan, if I’m going to do law enforcement, I’m going to be with the best agency in the state — and that’s Michigan State Police.”
His brother, Ben Bowers, wasn’t far behind.
“They both were talking to me about it for a long time,” Ben Bowers said. “I moved back here and applied, and they took me. So I always knew MSP was what I wanted to do. … (It was just) a matter of time, especially when they started to talk to me about it. I knew what I wanted to do.”
As if two brothers and a cousin weren’t enough, Ben jokingly said “you got to finish it off right.” That’s where Bailey and Brandon Bowers came in.
“It became obvious that I was going to come to Michigan. It’s where all my family was, where my brothers were. Why wouldn’t I come to Michigan?” Bailey Bowers said.
With a desire to also have a law enforcement career, Bailey Bowers went from working at a southern California jail to joining the academy, at the same time as his brother Brandon Bowers.
Within two years, the four brothers and their cousin began patrolling, protecting and serving with the same agency at the same post, bearing the same Bowers name.
“It’s almost like living in a movie, in a sense,” Brandon Bowers said. “You think about these four brothers and their cousin, they all work together on a police force … taking care of their community, making it a better place. It’s … hard to believe we’re living it.”
Public service happens to run in the family. Their grandfather, David Bowers, served in Vietnam and their mother, Brett Bowers, continues to care for others as a nurse. Combined with the structure and discipline they learned from their father, Bart Bowers, they credit their family to who they came to be.
“Iron sharpens iron,” Brock Bowers explained. “We’re around each other. We’re influencing each other and … it’s in a challenging, good, positive way. We’re pushing each other to be better. And that, in turn, is aiding the community better.”
To the five Bowers boys, it is a literal brotherhood beyond just the blue.
“It’s a reward in itself,” Bailey Bowers added. “Not only do we get to go do what our dream job is every day, we get to do it alongside our families. I think it’s special and it’s unique. We’re really lucky to do it.”