How to Become a Police Officer in Michigan

Aspiring candidates for the position of certified police officer will be able to read more about the important aspects associated with the topic of how to become a police officer in Michigan from the following short article.

It is necessary to point out that the demand for police officers in Michigan is decent and the median value of the wage for entry-level law enforcement officers in this state is $42,000, 8 percent less than the median countrywide average. Also, the budget standings of some police departments have determined them to accept exclusive candidates. This means that these departments can account for the tuition of the cadet at the academy.

Let’s evaluate the options.


MCOLES stands for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and all candidates will be required to have the approval of this authority before they can attain licensure. The criteria of selection are listed in the Employment Standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers and the highlights include:

  • Minimum 18 years old (no specified maximum) and US citizens
  • High school or GED (proof of college education supersedes it)
  • No criminal record and superior moral character
  • Valid driver’s license (should not be suspended or revoked)
  • No chronic illnesses or physical defects that would conflict with the job description and no mental conditions
  • Good hearing (candidate perceives 25 DB in the 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hz frequencies; candidate perceives 45 DB in 4000 Hz frequency)
  • BMI under 35 (extended medical evaluations for candidates that exceed the standard)
  • Normal vision, corrected standard 20/20 (no specifications regarding the uncorrected vision)
  • Can meet the standards of the physical aptitude tests
  • Candidate has been fingerprinted
  • Tested negatively for illegal substances (certified laboratory)

It is necessary to point out that some agencies will ask their candidates to meet stricter requirements in order to preserve job compliance.


The RPTEP acronym refers to the Recognition of Prior Training and Experience Program, which mandates that certain candidates with prior training and experience on the force may be eligible for licensure without completing the basic training.

The category of individuals who can be eligible for RPTEP include former police officers in the state of Michigan, pre-service candidates and former law enforcement agents from other states.

However, for out of state applicants, the prerequisite for eligibility is the minimum experience of one year as totally empowered and paid law enforcement agent.

At the same time, an amendment to the RPTEP specifications introduced in 2007 specifies that all candidates of the program should meet the qualifications of handling patrol rifles as well as handguns and shotguns.

Your Track Options in Michigan State Police Training

Candidates who have not attained their college diploma but who are willing to account for the tuition fee from their personal financial resources can consider track programs, which can be either 2 or 4 years.

In the former case, the candidate will attain the academic standards during the first year of school and the police academy courses mandated by the MCOLES standard (594 hours) during the second year.

Alternatively, the same curriculum applies for the 4-year track program, but with an additional specialization in criminal justice.

For more information on becoming a police officer in Michigan, visit the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) website or call (517) 636-4563.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Michigan.

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