How to Become a Police Officer in Milwaukee

Situated on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a city of about 600,000 people. Milwaukee is home to a number of cultural, educational and arts institutions, but it is perhaps best known for its German culture and beer brewing traditions, which have included the headquarters for Miller, Schlitz, and Pabst, among others. The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) dates back to 1855 and is a force that is devoted to serving and protecting the residents of the city with the most professional and ethical standards.1The process for joining the MPD as a cop is detailed below.

Milwaukee Police Officer Requirements

The MPD holds open application periods throughout the year for potential new recruits. The minimum requirements to qualify include US citizenship, a minimum age of 21, a high school diploma or GED, and a valid Wisconsin driver’s license. Candidates must also be physically fit enough to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer and be able to pass a thorough background investigation. New hires must have completed 60 hours of college credit within five years of being offered employment. Certain factors can disqualify a candidate, including felony convictions, a dishonorable discharge from the military, or a domestic violence conviction. Preference is given to those candidates with military experience and those who reside in the city.

The selection process for qualified applicants to the MPD begins with a written test and a physical fitness test. Those who pass both are placed on an eligibility list for consideration. Those from the list who are offered employment must first pass medical and psychological examinations before being ready to attend the 23-week basic training course.

For more information about how to become a cop in a typical big city, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. If you are ready to apply, find specific application information on the Milwaukee Department of Employee Relations website.

The Chief of Police of the MPD is Edward A. Flynn. He has been the Chief since 2008 and previously served as the Police Commissioner in Springfield, Massachusetts. Flynn also served as the Secretary of Public Safety for the State of Massachusetts. He holds degrees in history and criminal justice and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) National Academy.

Milwaukee Metro Police Department Information

The MPD serves a city of nearly 600,000 residents with 2,000 full-time officers and 700 civilian employees.1 The Department is divided into seven districts to better serve the neighborhoods of Milwaukee. Special units within the MPD include the Financial Crimes Unit, the Cold Case Division, Community Outreach and Development, the Sensitive Crime Division, and the Homicide Review Commission, among several others.

Milwaukee Police Training Academy

The Milwaukee Police Academy is located within the city and hosts a 23-week training course for new recruits to the MPD. Here the recruits learn all the basics needed to work as full-time sworn officers. After completing the course successfully, new officers must then work with veteran officers during on-the-job field training. All new recruits are paid during their time in the Academy and field training.

Milwaukee Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

The average annual salary for police officers in the Milwaukee area is $65,020.2 For a new recruit to the MPD, a biweekly salary of $1436.15 during basic training increases to a starting salary $49,786 per year as a new officer on the force.1 The Department also offers two weeks of paid vacation after one year of full-time service, plus 15 paid sick days per year. The salary for new MPD officers goes a long way in Milwaukee where the cost of living is 14.7% lower than the national average.3

Long-term projections are also promising for hopeful new law enforcement officers in Wisconsin. The state is expected to see a growth in the number of positions in this field of 3.4% from now to 2022, which means there should be about 390 new jobs opening up every year.4 For more information on current MPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.

More Information on the Milwaukee Police Department and Crime

For those living in Milwaukee who want to know more about the MPD, the Office of Community Outreach and Education offers several opportunities for both adults and young members of the community. The Citizens Academy gives residents a working knowledge of the MPD through a five-week course, while the Students Talking it Over with Police (STOP) Program helps officers connect with youth leaders in the community.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/milwaukeepolice
Twitter: @MilwaukeePolice

Milwaukee Police Department
749 W State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Additional Resources

1. Milwaukee Police Association: http://milwaukeepoliceassoc.com/
2. Wisconsin State Fraternal Order of Police: http://www.wifop.org/index.html

1. Milwaukee Police Department: https://city.milwaukee.gov/police
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33340.htm#33-0000
3. Sperling’s Best Places, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: https://www.bestplaces.net/city/wisconsin/milwaukee
4. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm