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What’s it like to be a trooper? 40 college kids will find out

March 30, 2017

Students in last year's Minnesota State Patrol Summer Academy.
Photo: The Minnesota State Patrol Summer Academy has accepted 40 students for this year’s session. Several from last year’s cohort (pictured here) are pursuing careers in law enforcement.

Imagine you’re a college student. Let’s say you come back to school in the fall and your friends and professors ask you what you did this summer. Imagine being able to say, “Oh, no big deal…I just drove a State Patrol squad car and learned how to reconstruct a traffic crash.”

Next week, 40 Minnesota college students will find out that they’ll be able to make that exact claim this fall. They’ve been accepted to the Summer Academy — which, by the way, is free – from a pool of applicants. Some are interested in joining the State Patrol itself, others are interested in law enforcement in general, and the rest are curious about the profession and wondering if it would be a good fit for them.

Summer Academy students get to stay at Camp Ripley (that’s where the State Patrol trains their troopers) for nearly a week, and their meals and lodging will be provided for them. Trooper training instructors will teach for an impressive 76 hours about subjects such as DWI enforcement, leadership training, and the Crash Reconstruction Unit. It will really give students a sense of what it’s like to have a career as a state trooper.

This is the second year the State Patrol is offering this academy for college students. Last year’s cohort was 38 people ages 18 to 23, and very diverse. There were men and women from metro areas and small towns alike. Several of them have accepted law enforcement jobs since the Summer Academy; two of them are even cadets in the Trooper Training Academy and will graduate in May to become state troopers. The rest have decided to pursue careers outside of law enforcement, but say that their Summer Academy experience benefited them greatly and helped them grow.

So congratulations to those 40 college students who get to attend the Minnesota State Patrol Summer Academy this year! Sure, you’ll get bragging rights for the fall, but more importantly, you’ll learn about the respect, integrity, courage, honor and excellence that makes the State Patrol the exceptional agency it is.