Fallen hero

Friends honor Trevor Slot’s memory through Ferris scholarship

After being killed in the line of duty, a scholarship was established in honor of a Ferris State University graduate.

Trevor Slot, a 1993 Ferris graduate, was killed during a high-speed chase in pursuit of a bank robber about two years ago. Friends of Slot have funded a new scholarship in his memory for Ferris criminal justice students.

Ferris criminal justice junior Aaron May said he is motivated by Slot’s story. Scholarships are important, May said, but what is more important is recognizing the hero Slot was. The work Slot did reminds May he is doing exactly what he wants to do with his life.

Slot, a nine-year veteran of the Walker Police Department was killed when an armed bank robbery led to a high-speed chase on I-96 in Ottawa County. He stopped his cruiser to set up stop sticks when he was hit by the robber’s vehicle on Oct. 13, 2011. He was 41.

Slot left behind a wife and two daughters. The friends of Slot described him as a loving person who was enthusiastic about his work.

“I can really appreciate this scholarship being in criminal justice because he risked his life doing what I plan on doing,” May said. “If that doesn’t inspire me to do good then I don’t know what will.”

Slot’s friends and the Walker Police Department joined forces to host the Officer Slot Memorial Golf Outing in 2012, which made the scholarship possible. The proceeds of the event along with memorial gifts were combined to create the scholarship for Ferris students.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a full-time junior or senior in the Criminal Justice program. The recipient must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Francis Crowe, former director of the Criminal Justice program, created a second scholarship to honor Slot. The Trevor Slot Memorial Annual Scholarship has been awarded twice since its establishment in 2012.

Michelle Johnston, Ferris’ Dean of College of Education and Human Services said all scholarship recipients understand the background behind the award. They write thank you notes to the donors of the scholarship to show their appreciation.

A bill has been passed by the state house to rename I-96 from Fruitridge to 16th Avenue to “Officer Trevor Slot Memorial Highway.” It will become official if the Senate approves it as well. The Walker Police Department also intends to hold a yearly service the second weekend of October in Slot’s memory.

“[The scholarships] act as an incentive to enroll in the program knowing that there are scholarships in the future, but, more importantly, the scholarships are an incentive to persist in the program through graduation,” said Johnston.

Ferris’ Criminal Justice program with 1,200 students is the university’s largest academic program.