How to Become a Police Officer in Minnesota

According to the Minnesota legislation, prospect candidates for the police officer profession must complete basic two years college education (Associate’s Degree) prior to applying for a job. It is important to note that students should enroll only in accredited higher education programs, which are usually listed under the Professional Peace Officer Education programs tag (a complete list can be found on the Minnesota POST website).

Let’s explore the details on becoming a police officer in Minnesota.

How to Become a Full-time Law Enforcement Officer in Minnesota

Basic Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Should be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have a valid Minnesota driver’s license.

Potential Dis-qualifiers

  • A felony conviction.
  • Being a registered predatory offender.
  • Being convicted with 2 or more traffic violations within the past year or 4 violations within the last 3 years.

Becoming a cop in Minnesota typically comprises of 3 basic steps:

  • Complete a Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice program that awards the Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Pass the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training licensure examination
  • The candidate must meet the POST selection standards in order to be appointed by a law enforcement agency

There is also an alternative road to becoming a police officer with a smaller time line (approximately 9 months, compared to minimum 2 to 4 years in the aforementioned guide).

In short, this certification program entails graduating in any discipline from a Minnesota university or college, attaining the Law Enforcement Certificate (by completing a PPOE program) and passing the POST licensure examination.

Part-time Peace Officer

The part-time peace officer license can be obtained solely through a sponsoring law enforcement agency (the one responsible for selecting a candidate).

The applicant for a part-time license must typically meet the subsequent requirements:

  • Sponsorship from a law enforcement agency (that also has a position available for the candidate)
  • Positive review of the physical condition (carried by a licensed physician)
  • Pass the background check
  • Positive psychological examination (which determines the applicant does not suffer from mental conditions )
  • Successfully completing the firearms course
  • Receive a Minnesota EMS Regulation Board certification (E.G. paramedic)
  • Pass the part-time licensing exam

Reciprocity Information

The legislation accepts out-of-state candidates, providing they take the necessary steps to submit an application for reciprocity.

In a nutshell, the police officer certification via reciprocity can be obtained after having served in the US military actively (from 3 to 5 years minimum) or completing basic training in another state, possessing college education and being previously employed in a law enforcement agency (at least 3 years).

Out of state candidates who do not possess college education must prove having worked for at least 5 years in a police department, in order to be eligible for reciprocity.

For more information on becoming a police officer in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training website or call (651) 643-3060.

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

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