Cautionary tale of former MSP trooper aims to inspire first responders

Updated: Apr. 6, 2023 at 6:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -New details—If the name Jesse Binns rings a bell, it’s likely from our coverage of his court case back in 2019.

The former Michigan State Police Trooper and Cass County Fire Department treasurer made headlines after he admitted to embezzling nearly $20,000 from the fire department, which went to fuel his gambling addiction.

He says he spent the past four years making up for his mistake. Binns accepted personal responsibility for his actions.

However, Binns isn’t letting that moment in his life define the rest of it as he’s now bouncing back to support other first responders.

Binns opens up about how he used gambling to cope with the trauma he witnessed as a state trooper on his website Cell 9/11.

That’s the platform he’s using to encourage first responders to ask for help when the stress of their job becomes too much, or risk suffering the same fate he did when trying to cope on his own.

He says he’s often left wondering how things could have been different had he reached out for help during his time of crisis. Cell 9/11 is his way of protecting others from making the same mistakes he did.

“Everything that I went through, it’s inexcusable, it’s unacceptable, but it is explainable. These first responders out there, we’re no different than anybody else, except we’re put in these stressful positions multiple times a day. We’re not robots. That takes a toll on everybody,” Binns says.

Binns has also shared his story with groups across Indiana and Michigan as a public speaker.