​​​​​Ready to make a difference? Consider the State Patrol

March 2, 2023

Troopers saluting at graduation

During the pandemic, many of us took the time to take stock of our lives and our careers, reevaluating what we want to contribute to the world.

If you're looking for something new and have a passion for public service, consider applying for the Minnesota State Patrol's Law Enforcement Training Opportunity (LETO) program.

Our Minnesota State Patrol offers the chance for you to be there for people on their worst days, save lives and make a difference for everyone driving on Minnesota's roads.

The LETO program is for people who want to become troopers but don't have any law enforcement experience. It's meant to attract people who are looking for a career change, widening the pool of potential state trooper applicants and bringing in people with a variety of lived experiences. LETO candidates in the current trooper class include a former gym manager, high school educator and financial advisor.

“LETO attracts people who want to serve their community and are looking for a new career because they felt their previous path wasn't a good fit," said Capt. Eric Barthel of the State Patrol's Training and Development section. “LETO brings people in who have a different perspective than a traditional candidate who always had the desire to be a state trooper."

The LETO program helps us ensure people from a variety of backgrounds are on our team to better serve all Minnesotans.

If you have a 2- or 4-year college degree in any discipline, you can apply for the 22-week program. The State Patrol will pay your tuition as well as 80 percent of the state trooper base salary during your training.

The process begins on our website, where you can get all of the details on the program and find the application. The next step is a physical fitness exam and oral interview in early April, followed by an intense background check. In June, the State Patrol's command staff reviews the applicants.

“We are looking for those who want to contribute to the mis​sion of traffic safety and demonstrate the core values of the State Patrol. That's what it really comes down to," Barthel​ said.

The focus is on finding people who uphold those values— respect, integrity, courage, honor and excellence—regardless of their background.

The program provides you with the educational requirements necessary to take the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) exam, which qualifies you to become a licensed peace officer. Once you have your POST certification, you'll attend the 16-week Minnesota State Patrol Academy starting Aug. 7 at Camp Ripley, alongside traditional trainees.

Applications opened Wednesday and will remain open through March 31.