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Seven steps to becoming a trooper

Feb. 11, 2019

Minnesota State Patrol patch on a trooper's uniform


You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision. You’ve done the research, and you’ve broken the news to your friends and family: You’ve decided to apply for the Minnesota State Patrol. And although you’re just itching to get out there and start making Minnesota’s roads safer, it’s going to be 11 months before any of that happens.

Why does it take so long to get hired? The State Patrol is looking for people who share its core values of respect, integrity, courage, honor and excellence. So there are seven steps you have to go through before you can get your badge.

Step 1. You’ll take two online personality assessments. There’s not a time limit, but you’ll have to do them all in one sitting because you can’t save them and come back to them later. It should take about half an hour.

Step 2. The concept of the Physical Readiness Test is simple, but the actual task is not. You have to row 2,000 meters on a Concept 2 Rower set at level five and score at or above the 60th percentile for your age, gender and weight. If you don’t pass this test, you don’t move on to Step 3. Most troopers’ advice: Join a gym.

Step 3. You’ll have an in-person interview with a panel (usually two people). This is non-law enforcement stuff: They’ll want to know how you’ll fit in with the State Patrol’s mission and core values.

Step 4. Now comes the background investigation, and as you can imagine, it’s pretty thorough. They’ll look at criminal and civil court records, driver’s license and credit information, and educational and employment history. They’ll also interview references, neighbors, family members and others. This generally takes about eight weeks.

Step 5. Once you’ve passed your background investigation, you’ll get the usual medical and psychological exams. Don’t worry, it’s purely routine; they just need to know that you’re mentally and physically fit to serve.

Step 6. You’ll get fingerprinted by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Step 7. Assuming Steps 1-6 go well, you’ll receive a final offer of employment at this point. After that, it’s time to start at the academy so you can learn to become a Minnesota state trooper. Congratulations!

The process may seem daunting, but if you get all the way through it, you’ll know you’re working with people who want to make a difference, just like you do. It’s worth the time and effort to protect and serve the people on Minnesota’s roadways.