ST. PAUL — There is more than one road to becoming a Minnesota State Patrol trooper, including a route that requires no prior law enforcement experience or education. The State Patrol is now accepting applications from people looking for a career change.
The application period for non-traditional candidates opens today and runs through June 14.
The State Patrol Law Enforcement Training Opportunity (LETO) program is a specialized recruitment effort that provides a pathway for people without a law enforcement background to become a Minnesota State Trooper. Anyone with a two- or four-year degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university can apply. The State Patrol pays for LETO candidates’ law enforcement education.
“One of our goals is to recruit a diverse workforce, which is why we’re looking for candidates with unique life experiences and backgrounds to join the Minnesota State Patrol,” said Col. Matt Langer, Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “Our non-traditional troopers are an important addition to our agency. The face of law enforcement is changing every day, and these Troopers provide additional perspective to handle challenges on Minnesota roads.”
Troopers are a part of making Minnesota roads safer and preventing traffic crashes, but their careers extend beyond the highway. Troopers also have the opportunity to take to the sky for flight patrols, conduct search and rescue missions, make life-saving blood and organ deliveries and much more.
Candidates who have a post-secondary degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and who successfully complete the competitive selection process, will be hired. Those hired will receive instruction in the academic and practical education requirements to meet the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) board standards — a requirement of all Minnesota law enforcement. Upon passing the POST exam, new hires will also attend the State Patrol Trooper Academy, starting in January 2017.
“The academy is challenging, but for those who are looking for a rewarding and exciting career, it is some of the best law enforcement training in the nation,” said Capt. Lori Hodapp, State Patrol training director.
Among the 57 graduating trooper cadets in 2016, 13 completed the LETO program. These Troopers were previously employed as an executive assistant, compliance support analyst for a major bank, paramedic, firefighter, construction worker, and a wrestling camp director. Nine of the new Troopers are veterans.
Going through the academy is a life-changing experience that pushes a cadet to be their very best. Cadets live at Camp Ripley while training and learning about motor vehicle crash investigation, traffic law, emergency vehicle operations, firearms and scenario-based training. Hands-on training includes mapping and reconstructing crash scenes, learning how to deploy Tasers and self-defense tactics. Instructors teach leadership skills and emphasize service and lifelong learning.
Becoming a State Trooper
The Minnesota State Patrol recruiting process allows potential candidates to apply, regardless of previous law enforcement education or experience. Anyone with a two- or four-year degree from a regionally accredited college or university may apply. Information about becoming a Trooper, career/internship opportunities and the ride-along program is found on the Minnesota State Patrol “Join the State Patrol
” web page.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Minnesota State Patrol
More than 500 Minnesota State Patrol troopers are the foundation of the agency that works to provide a safe environment on Minnesota’s roads by assisting motorists, taking enforcement action and educating drivers about traffic safety issues. In addition to road safety activities, troopers conduct flight patrols, search and rescue missions and assist other law enforcement agencies.
In 1929, the Minnesota Legislature created the Highway Patrol after lawmakers recognized the need for a traffic enforcement agency in response to the boom of automobiles. The first patrol force comprised 35 men. In 1970, the Highway Patrol became a division of the Department of Public Safety and, four years later, its official name was changed to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Recent State Patrol Highlights