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How to Become a Police Officer in Minnesota

Becoming a Police Officer in Bloomington, Minnesota

A wide variety of Bloomington police jobs are available to aspiring police officers in Minnesota: patrol, investigations with three internal divisions not including state and federal task forces, SWAT Team, hostage negotiations, bomb squad, and more – all from their new state-of-the-art facility.

Use this guide to learn how to become a cop in Bloomington by meeting police officer requirements:

  1. Meet the basic requirements
  2. Application
  3. Panel interview
  4. Physical agility test
  5. Background check
  6. Medical examination and psychological evaluation
  7. Minnesota POST Certification

Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Bloomington

Becoming a police officer in Bloomington requires you to first of all meet the following minimum standards:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Valid driver’s license
  • No felony, crimes of an exploitative or sexual nature, or domestic violence convictions
  • At least 18 years old
  • Ability to become Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) licensed. This is accomplished by passing an exam offered to those candidates who have:
    • Completed of a Minnesota POST-certified two to four year higher education program
    • Previous experience as a law enforcement officer at the federal level or in another state
    • Previous military experience
    • Previously been certified or eligible for certification by the POST Board.

Step 2. Application

When you fill out an application make sure to do so completely and legibly, including all requested papers and signing all required forms and disclosures. You can only fill out an application when there is an opening for Bloomington police jobs, however you can fill out a job interest card anytime online that will notify you when this occurs.

Step 3. Panel Interview

Once there is an opening and your application is reviewed to determine you are a competitive candidate, you will be scheduled for a panel interview with Bloomington police department officials. They will determine if you seem like a good fit, checking to make sure you have the high level of communication skills required for the job.

Step 4. Physical Agility Test

As stipulated by the Minnesota POST regulations, you will be required to complete a physical agility test. This will be a basic test of your physical agility and strength to demonstrate you are capable of accomplishing the functions and duties of a Bloomington cop. The test includes push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run.

Step 5. Background Check

Your background check may take several weeks to complete. You will have an investigator assigned to your case and be required to submit your fingerprints so the investigator can cross reference local, state, and federal databases. You may also be required to submit your credit report. The credentials listed on your application will be confirmed, and the background investigator may conduct interviews with any of the following:

  • Your character references
  • Past and present neighbors
  • Former employers and coworkers
  • Friends and family

Step 6. Medical Examination and Psychological Evaluation

After your background investigation has confirmed you are of good moral character, responsible, and reliable, you will be scheduled for a medical examination. This will include:

  • Sight and hearing test
  • EKG test
  • Urinalysis drug and alcohol test
  • Cardiovascular system check
  • Evaluation for past instances of black outs, migraine headaches, or dizziness
  • Medical physical
  • Check into any risk factors based on your medical history

Your psychological interview will ensure you are free from any mental condition or emotional stress that may hinder your performance in a job with the Bloomington PD. This will include an oral interview by a licensed psychologist.

Step 7. Minneapolis POST Certification

Once you have successfully completed your medical and psychological evaluations your final step in becoming a police officer in Bloomington will be to pass the Minnesota POST certification exam. This is tailored to the four different types of possible candidates:

  • Peace Officer Licensing Exam: This is for candidates who have completed a two to four year Minnesota POST-approved higher education program. Your classroom adviser can help you register for this test or you can do so yourself online if this is your first time taking the exam.
  • Reciprocity Licensing Exam: This is for candidates who have previous law enforcement experience from another state or at the federal level, as well as those with previous military experience. To take this exam you must first check to see if you are eligible.
  • License Restoration Exam and Reinstatement of License Eligibility Exam: These exams are for candidates who have previously been POST certified or eligible for such.

Becoming a Police Officer in Duluth, Minnesota

Established in 1870, the Duluth Police Department is nationally recognized for its innovative policing programs. Duluth police jobs are available to qualified candidates who successfully navigate the application process.

Learning how to become a police officer in Duluth will make you a more organized and competitive candidate. Becoming a police officer in Duluth proceeds along the following steps:

  1. Meet the basic requirements
  2. Apply
  3. Tests
  4. Interview
  5. Background investigation
  6. Medical exam and psychological evaluation
  7. Training academy
  8. POST certification

Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Duluth

The first step in becoming a police officer in Duluth is to meet the basic requirements for the job:

  • Ability to gain Minnesota Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification by either:
    • 2-4 year college degree in a POST-approved law enforcement education program or
    • Previous military experience or
    • Previous law enforcement experience in other states or at the federal level or
    • Designated by the Duluth PD as being qualified to receive POST-certification after hire
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Normal vision and hearing
  • Be in good physical shape
  • No convictions for felony, domestic violence, or sexual crimes
  • At least 21 years old
  • U.S. citizen

Step 2. Apply for the Job

Once you confirm you meet the basic requirements you may fill out an application. These are only made available to the public when police officer jobs in Duluth become available, and to monitor this you may subscribe to the Duluth police jobs availability email service or check the local listings. When you do fill out an application make sure to do so completely and legibly.

Step 3. Take the Required Tests

After your application has been approved you will be contacted about taking a basic written and physical test. The written test will check your reading and writing abilities, while the physical test will check your basic strength. You will be required to complete a short run, sit-ups, and push-ups. You must demonstrate a basic level of fitness and education to proceed with the application process.

Step 4. Submit to an Interview

Your interview will be conducted by a panel of police department officials who are looking for the right candidate who can successfully complete all the job requirements. These include:

  • Your potential patrol strengths
  • Ability to apprehend, identify, and help prosecute law breakers
  • Your ability to respond to crisis, emergency, and non-emergency situations

Questions may be asked about your previous employment or examples from other areas of your life that demonstrate possession of these qualities.

Step 5. Submit to a Background Investigation

All Duluth police jobs require a background investigation. This will be performed by a police department background investigator who will in the least verify your minimum credentials. This includes checking your criminal records, driving history, education history, and previous employment history. Your background investigator may additionally conduct interviews with the following people:

  • Previous neighbors
  • Previous supervisors or colleagues
  • Friends and family members
  • Character references
  • Fellow religious congregants

Step 6. Submit to Medical Exam and Psychological Evaluation

After your background investigation determines you are of good moral character and trustworthy, you will be scheduled for a medical examination. This will check your overall health and includes:

  • EKG test
  • Cardiovascular analysis
  • Checks for any dizziness, migraine headaches, or blackouts
  • Drug and alcohol test
  • Vital signs evaluation
  • Medical physical
  • Hearing and vision test

Your psychological exam will evaluate your ability to handle a high amount of stress. Your overall mental history will be taken into consideration and you will be assessed on your general mental stability and health.

Step 7. Attend the Training Academy

Depending on your previous experience and academy availability, you may be required to attend a police academy. This is a program that lasts several months and includes specialized training and coursework in the following areas:

  • CPR and first aid
  • Driving techniques and maneuvers
  • Arrest procedures
  • Legal procedures
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Criminal justice system
  • Field sobriety test administration
  • Patrol techniques
  • Firearms training
  • Domestic violence and family issues
  • Self-defense and survival

Step 8. Get Your Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training
(POST) Certification

Your final step will be to obtain Minnesota POST certification. This is accomplished by passing a licensing exam which is offered in the following formats and based on your previous experience:

  • Peace Officer Licensing Exam: This is for new recruits who have completed a 2-4 year POST-recognized law enforcement college program.
  • Reciprocity Licensing Exam: This is for those with previous military service or law enforcement experience from other states or at the federal level. You must meet the eligibility requirements to take this exam.
  • License Restoration Exam and Reinstatement of Licensing Eligibility Exam: These are for people with expired certifications or eligibility, who would like to renew their certification or eligibility.

Becoming a Police Officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis police officers responded to over 23.5 thousand violent crimes in 2012. To face the threat of crime, Minneapolis police jobs are available to the most qualified and capable individuals.

Learn how to become a cop in Minneapolis by meeting the established police officer requirements in the state. The application process usually takes between 6-12 months, and proceeds through the following steps:

  1. Meeting police officer requirements in Minneapolis
  2. Application
  3. Pre-employment tests
  4. Interview and background check
  5. Medical exam and psychological evaluation
  6. Training and certification

Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Minneapolis

Becoming a police officer in Minneapolis requires you to meet the basic standards set by the Minneapolis Police Department as well as the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board. This latter agency is responsible for certifying law enforcement officers across the state of Minnesota.

Minneapolis Police Department Minimum Qualifications

  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 21 years old
  • Ability to obtain a Minnesota driver’s license
  • Mostly clean criminal record
  • Ability to obtain POST certification
  • Ability to pass a basic physical and written test

The Minneapolis Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board requires the completion of one of the following exams for you to be able to obtain POST certification:

  • Peace Officer Licensing Exam: This is for graduates of a Minnesota POST-certified two to four years education degree program.
  • Reciprocity Licensing Exam: If you have previous work experience in another state or at the federal level as a law enforcement officer or if you have previous military experience you may be eligible to take this exam. Check the Minnesota POST website to see if you qualify.
  • The Reinstatement of License Exam and License Restoration Exam are for those who have previously held eligibility for, or possessed, respectively, certification that has expired.

Step 2. Application

Becoming a police officer in Minneapolis requires you to fill out your application completely and legibly. Make sure you include where requested photocopies and originals of all documentation. Do not forget to sign all required forms and waivers. The more relevant information you can provide the better. You can obtain an application from the human resources department or apply online, though in both cases you must wait until Minneapolis cop jobs become available.

Step 3. Pre-Employment Tests

If your application is considered to be competitive and complete you will be scheduled to take two tests:

  • Physical Fitness Exam, to be passed with at least a 70% score
    • Bench press either 102 pounds, 60% of body weight, or compete 25 push-ups
    • 13-inch vertical jump
    • 30 sit-ups
    • 82-second 300 meter spring
    • 15.73-minute 1.5 mile run
  • Oral Exam: You will be asked basic questions and you must answer with proper grammar and passing responses.

Your Oral exam results will comprise 65% of your score and you may only take this test if you pass your physical fitness exam, which comprises the remaining 35%.

Step 4. Interview and Background Check

After successful completion of a departmental interview and background check you will receive a conditional offer of employment. All Minneapolis police jobs require a background check that is completed by a professional department investigator. To become a cop in Minneapolis you will have to pass a background check which may include the following:

  • Check of your credit history and sources of income
  • Interviews with your neighbors, friends, family, employers, or coworkers
  • Criminal records check
  • Driving history check
  • Verification of your previous employment, education, and other credentials

Step 5. Medical Exam and Psychological Evaluation

Your next step will be to take a medical exam. You should not consume any food or drink besides water three hours before your examination, which includes the following evaluations:

  • Drug and alcohol test
  • Vital signs
  • Hearing and vision
  • Medical physical
  • Venipuncture
  • EKG with VO2 Max test
  • Pulmonary function test

Your psychological exam will consist of a written personality assessment and interview conducted by a licensed psychiatrist.

Step 6. Training and Certification

Your training program will consist of an orientation school, police academy, and field training. The police academy is 14-16 weeks long and you will go home at the end of each day’s training. Topics of instruction include:

  • Defensive tactics
  • Report writing
  • Ethics
  • Traffic enforcement
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Community policing
  • Defensive driving and maneuvers

The field training program is often a one-on-one experience between the officer and trainer. This lasts over a period of five months and seeks to seamlessly integrate you into your new job with the Minneapolis Police Department by means of training and practical experience.

Your final step to officially begin your new career as a Minneapolis Police Department cop will be to pass the Minnesota POST certification exam. The Minneapolis PD will help you prepare and provide you resources for this exam, addressed in Step One above.

Becoming a Police Officer in Rochester, Minnesota

The Rochester Police Department currently supports jobs for 191 personnel, including more than 132 sworn officers. Rochester police jobs are competitive and only offered to the top qualifiers. Learn how to become a cop in Rochester by meeting police officer requirements. The application process follows these steps:

  1. Basic requirements
  2. Application and written test
  3. Initial screening interview
  4. In-depth interview and tests
  5. Background investigation, medical, psychological evaluations
  6. Training academy
  7. Minnesota POST certification

Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in Rochester

Becoming a police officer in Rochester involves first checking to see if you can meet the minimum requirements:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Ability to become Minnesota POST certified: college, military, or law enforcement experience
  • U.S. citizen
  • Mostly clean criminal record, with no domestic violence, sexual crimes, or felony convictions
  • Driver’s license with a mostly clean driving history, especially in the past two years

Step 2. Application and Written Test

Applications can only be completed when there is a job opening for a Rochester Police Department cop position. You can fill out a job interest card to be notified when this occurs. After you submit an application you will take a pre-interview written exam. This is a basic test of your intellectual abilities, and measures your reading comprehension and writing skills. Based on these events you will receive a score that allows the Rochester Police Department to rank you with other qualified applicants.

Step 3. Initial Screening Interview

As a general rule, the Rochester Police Department conducts initial screening interviews with four times the number of candidates as there are positions to fill. These interviews are conducted by police department supervisors and will be scored on a points system. These initial interviews may be conducted over the phone if you are outside of the commuting area, and if you are a veteran you will receive points weighted in your favor.

Step 4. In-Depth Interview and Tests

After receiving a relatively high number of points from your initial screening you will be invited to an in-depth oral interview. This will be administered by a panel of evaluators who will give you an overall raw score based on your performance.

You will also be required to complete an in-depth writing assignment which will be scored by a panel of evaluators as appointed by the police chief. In addition to the writing assignment, you will be required to complete a physical assessment involving a 1.5 mile run, sit-ups, and push-ups. This will be scored as pass/fail.

Your scores for the oral interview and tests will be combined, and weighted advantageously for those with military experience. Based on your score you may be invited to proceed to the next step in the process of becoming a police officer in Rochester.

Step 5. Background Investigation, Medical Examination, Psychological Evaluation

The Rochester police department will assign an investigator to check the qualifications you listed on your application. The investigator may also conduct interviews with people who know or have observed you, check your traffic record, criminal history, employment history, and credit report.

You will then be scheduled to have a medical examination which will extensively evaluate your medical health. This includes:

  • Drug and alcohol test
  • EKG test
  • Cardiovascular evaluation
  • Respiratory functioning
  • Vital organ strength
  • Lab tests
  • Medical physical

Finally you will be evaluated by a psychologist who will determine your mental health is compatible with a job as a Rochester cop. This will include a stress test.

Step 6. Training Academy

You will be required to complete a police academy which lasts several months in duration. During this time you will learn all the basic skills you will need in your new Rochester police department job. Skills covered include:

  • CPR and first aid
  • Defensive driving maneuvers
  • Community policing
  • Use of force procedures
  • Domestic violence and family issues
  • Firearms training
  • Patrol techniques
  • Field sobriety testing

Step 7. Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Certification

Depending on the department’s demand, this may be one of the first requirements of becoming a police officer in Rochester, or they may require you to complete this at the end of your basic training. Obtaining POST certification is accomplished by passing a certification examination, which is offered in three basic formats:

  • Peace Officer Licensing Exam: For those who have completed a two to four year POST-approved college law enforcement course.
  • Reciprocity Licensing Exam: For those who have had previous law enforcement experience in other states or in federal positions, or those with previous military experience. Completion of this exam requires you to first qualify.
  • License Restoration Exam and Reinstatement of License Eligibility Exam: These exams are for those who have previously held certification or eligibility for such.

Upon successful completion you may begin your new Rochester police officer job. You will be on probation which will be lifted after a successful year of service.

Becoming a Police Officer in St. Paul, Minnesota

The St. Paul, Minnesota Police Department employs around 600 sworn officers, who in a recent year responded to over 203,000 calls for service. Learn how to become a cop in St. Paul by meeting the established police officer requirements as detailed in the steps that follow:

  1. Meet the basic requirements
  2. Pre-employment tests and application
  3. Interview, orientation, and background check
  4. Medical and psychological evaluation
  5. Training academy
  6. Minnesota POST certification

Step 1. Meeting Police Officer Requirements in St. Paul

Before being eligible for St. Paul police jobs you must first meet the basic requirements as detailed here:

  • At least 21 years old
  • U.S. citizen
  • Valid driver’s license with no revocations or suspensions within the last two years
  • Mostly clean criminal record, with no felonies, gross misdemeanors, or assaults
  • Be in good physical shape
  • Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification: at least a two-year education program, military experience, or previous law enforcement experience

Step 2. Pre-Employment Tests and Apply

Throughout your career as a St. Paul police officer you will be expected to maintain a high degree of physical health. You may be screened before you are interviewed, being judged based on your performance of a written test that measures you reading and writing abilities, as well as a physical fitness test, that measures your capabilities in sit-ups, push-ups, 1.5 mile-run, sprinting, and flexibility.

Once you have completed the pre-employment tests your next step will be to return an application that is filled out completely and legibly. Make sure you include all requested documents, photocopies, and signed forms. You may only apply when jobs for St. Paul cops become open, and you can complete a Police Officer Interest Form to be notified when this occurs.

Step 3. Interview, Orientation and Background Investigation

Your next step is a panel interview where you will be asked questions about your past employment and character. After the interview you will also be given an orientation of the St. Paul Police Department and have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. You will also be required to fill out a background check questionnaire which asks you to list your previous residencies, financial history, and driving history. You will have a background investigator assigned to your application, who may interview any of the following people:

  • Neighbors
  • Friends and family
  • Former employers and colleagues
  • Ex-spouses or partners

Step 4. Medical Examination and Psychological Evaluation

Before you begin the St. Paul training academy you will be required to have a medical examination and psychological evaluation. The medical exam includes:

  • EKG test
  • Medical physical
  • Vision and hearing test
  • Urinalysis drug test
  • Cardiovascular measurements
  • Blood pressure check
  • Investigation of anything to which you are prone based on your medical history

The psychological evaluation will check your resilience to stress and make sure you are in a stable mental state. The St. Paul police department will make these appointments for you and you will be required to pass both the medical examination and the psychological evaluation before you will be permitted to begin the training academy.

Step 5. Training Academy

Your training academy with the St. Paul police department will last several months and provide you with all the skills and knowledge you will need to begin a successful St. Paul police job. This includes a regimented physical training program as well as field training and classroom work.

Physical Training Program

Three to five days of the weeks you will complete a part of your physical training program. This will focus on the areas of:

  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Muscle endurance and strength
  • Body composition

You will be evaluated based on your performance of:

  • Body mass index
  • Sit and reach
  • Timed sit-ups and push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run
  • Vertical jump
  • 300 meter sprint

Coursework and Field Training

Your training academy classroom instruction and field training will emphasize the following subject areas:

  • Defensive driving and maneuvers
  • Firearms training
  • Self-defense and tactics
  • Patrol strategies
  • Drunk driving patrols
  • Community policing
  • Domestic violence and family issues
  • CPR and first aid

Step 6. Minnesota POST Certification

The final step to becoming a police officer in St. Paul is to acquire Minnesota Police Officer Standards and Training certification. This is accomplished by passing one of the following exams:

  • Peace Officer Licensing Exam: This is for candidates who have already completed a POST-approved secondary education program lasting two to four years.
  • Reciprocity Licensing Exam: If you have had previous military experience or law enforcement experience in a different state or at the federal level, you may be eligible to take this exam.
  • If you have already been certified or eligible for certification you may take the License Restoration Exam or the Reinstatement of License Eligibility Exam, respectively.

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