How to Become a Police Officer in Minneapolis
Over 800 sworn officers and 300 civilian employees work for the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).1 With over 410,000 residents living in the city of Minneapolis, which is the largest city in Minnesota, and over three million residents in the greater metropolitan area, Minneapolis is a truly cosmopolitan midwestern city.2,3 Thanks to the efforts of the MPD, Minneapolis is also a safe city; its crime rate is below the average for similarly-sized metros.3 The process for joining the MPD is outlined below.
Minneapolis Police Officer Requirements
To join the MPD as a cop, new recruits have to meet certain standards set by the department. Only if these are met will a candidate be considered. All candidates must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Hold US citizenship
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
- Hold at least an associate’s degree OR have three to five years of law enforcement experience with another agency OR have five years of military experience with an honorable discharge
- Have vision that is correctable to 20/40 and adequate hearing
- Have no felony convictions, gross misdemeanor convictions, or other disqualifying convictions including those for, but not limited to, controlled substances or theft
Candidates who meet the above requirements can apply to the department during an open recruiting period. Those who are qualified will be invited to take the physical fitness test and to undergo a background investigation and medical and psychological screenings. Candidates will also complete an oral exam. Based on the results of the application materials and tests, the most qualified candidates will be selected and offered employment and a spot in an upcoming police academy class.
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 Minneapolis Police Department recruiting website.
Minneapolis Police Academy
The Minneapolis Police Academy is a 14- to 16-week training program during which new recruits learn about firearms, defensive driving, report writing, traffic enforcement, crime scene investigation, and ethics. All of the training is designed to integrate new recruits into the community-based policing policies followed across the MPD. Physical conditioning is also an integral part of the police academy curriculum, and recruits are advised to get into top physical shape before reporting for training. Upon graduation from the academy, recruits become sworn in as officers but must still complete five months of field training. Following successful completion of the field training, officers are assigned to one of the five patrol districts in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Police Department Information
The Minneapolis Police Department was founded when the city was first incorporated in 1867. Since then the population has grown from a few thousand to several hundred thousand. The MPD organizes patrols within five city precincts and is focused on community-based policing. New officers typically must work at least two years in patrol before becoming eligible for service on special units. Specialized units within the Minneapolis PD include precinct-based investigations units, Special Operations (which includes bomb squad, canine, and SWAT units), and Violent Crimes. After five years of continuous service with the MPD, officers are also eligible to take the sergeant’s exam to qualify for promotion to the supervisory ranks.
The Twin Cities have seen several high-profile police-involved shootings in recent years that have contributed to racial tensions in the area. The MPD has worked towards a community policing model while seeking to avoid racial profiling. One way it does so is through its Community Engagement Team, which works to build relationships with ethnic communities within Minneapolis.
As part of the Minneapolis Police Department’s philosophy of community policing, the MPD has several ways that residents can get involved. Crime Prevention Specialists on the force work with and train community members and leaders to help keep neighborhoods safe and to bring people together. The Block Club program is another way that the department helps residents work together and with officers to create and maintain safe neighborhoods.
Department Contact Information
Salary, Benefits, and Jobs Outlook
The starting salary for an incoming law enforcement officer with the MPD is $62,878 per year.1 Officers also receive benefits which include health and life insurance; vacation, sick, and holiday time; membership in a health club; regular step increases in salary and longevity pay; and performance pay. The city of Minneapolis also offers a pension plan for law enforcement officers. In the greater Minneapolis metropolitan area, the annual average salary for police is $69,210.4
Projections for future jobs in Minnesota suggest that there will be 7.6% growth in law enforcement employment through 2026, with an average of 75 new positions opening up each year.5 For more information on current MPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our jobs board page.
- Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police – The Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police advocates for the law enforcement profession while providing social activities and legal and financial support benefits for members.
- Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) – The Minnesota POST sets minimum requirements and testing and training standards for law enforcement officers statewide, as well as guidelines and opportunities for advanced law enforcement training.
1. Minneapolis Police Department: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/
2. Sperling’s Best Places, Minneapolis, MN: https://www.bestplaces.net/city/minnesota/minneapolis
3. US News & World Report Best Places to Live, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: https://realestate.usnews.com/places/minnesota/minneapolis-st-paul
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33460.htm#33-0000
5. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm