In Minnesota, police officers have it pretty good. Both pay and morale are high, and you can expect an average of salary between $50,000 and $65,000, plus great benefits. Police officers also have intangible benefits of working to benefit their community and keep people safe. Minnesota officers have the chance to save a life each and every day.
The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) decides what it takes to become a peace officer in the state. There are many different law enforcement organizations that fall under the rules of POST. That means that it’s important to meet POST’s requirements, even if you want to work for the Division of Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement, the Metropolitan Transit police, the Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Unit or if you want to become a conservation officer.
To become a law enforcement officer in the State of Minnesota, you have to be twenty-one or older. Education after high school is mandatory. You can’t become a law enforcement officer in the state if you don’t have at least an associate’s degree. This requirement is one of the most stringent in the United States, with many other states only requiring a high school diploma.
Once you have at least an associate’s degree, there are several options for you to meet remaining education requirements. First, you can show that your education program is in an approved criminal justice or law enforcement program. The state has a list of programs that they approve, and they’re happy to answer any questions you have about what counts and what doesn’t.
If your college degree is in another program, you can go on to complete a certificate program made specifically for this purpose. The third way is if you’ve already been a law enforcement officer somewhere else. In that case, you just need to take a special exam created for people like you. This is called reciprocity. Some military experience also qualifies for the purpose of seeking reciprocity.
Meeting the education standards is just the first step in the battle. Once you’ve done that, you have to prove you’re qualified in a bunch of other ways. First, you have to show that you’re physically fit. There are a number different tests, so be prepared to show that you have arm and leg strength as well as the ability to sprint and the ability to run long distances.
There is also a medical screening. They look for any physical condition that stands in the way of your doing your job well. A chronic medical condition might disqualify you if the examination board thinks it might prevent you from doing things like carrying injured victims to safety or dealing with unruly people that you’re trying to arrest.
There’s a polygraph exam to make sure that you’re telling the truth about the things that you’ve disclosed, and to make sure you’re telling the truth about your character. You also have to pass a psych exam to prove that you don’t have any mental defects that would cause you to behave in an inappropriate way while working on the job.
If you’re fortunate to make it to a police academy in Minnesota, such as the Minneapolis Police Academy, you want to make sure that it’s a positive experience. You might have questions about what to expect. From how to interact with the public, to crash investigations to how to use a firearm, it might seem like there are countless things to learn in training.
There’s good news, though. Experts in police work and police training have come together to create a guide for you. This guidebook, Prepare For The Police Academy, highlights what to expect when you train to be a peace officer in Minnesota. It covers constitutional rights, report writing and ethics. You learn how to conduct investigations and how to successfully perform community policing.
You can find the book at PrepareForThePoliceAcademy.com. It’s a great way to find the confidence you need to get off to a great start in your career as a peace officer in Minnesota. While it’s a stressful job, you can ease some of that burden by getting one up on the competition.
Work hard on your physical training and use Prepare for the Police Academy to begin studying and for tips on physical and mental preparation.
The guide includes practice questions for that important law exam. If it sounds like the career for you, complete an application and kick start your career.