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 accepting applications to fill more than 40 trooper positions, July 1–12. Interested candidates may apply at mntrooper.com.
A primary goal for the State Patrol is to recruit a diverse workforce. The State Patrol Law Enforcement Training Opportunity (LETO) program is a specialized recruitment effort that provides a pathway for those without a law enforcement background to become a state trooper. Anyone with a two- or four-year degree in any discipline may apply. The State Patrol pays for the LETO candidates’ law enforcement education.
“Law enforcement is a diverse, exciting career choice, and the State Patrol wants to tap into potential candidates that have unique training and life experiences,” says Lt. Col. Matt Langer. “This is also an opportunity to promote a career in law enforcement to the state’s growing and diverse populations.”
Langer cites the most critical component in a career as a trooper: Be a part of making Minnesota roads safer and preventing traffic crashes. Last year, the state’s road deaths jumped for the first time since 2007 — the 395 deaths in 2012 was a 7 percent increase from 2011. This year, road deaths are continuing to climb.
The career of a state trooper also extends far beyond the highway. Troopers have the opportunity to take to the sky for flight patrols, conduct search and rescue missions, make life-saving blood and organ deliveries and more.
Among the 42 graduating trooper cadets in 2012, 11 went through the LETO program. These troopers included a copy writer, graphic designer and a banker.
“The non-traditional troopers are an important addition to our agency,” says Col. Kevin Daly, chief of the State Patrol. “The face of law enforcement is changing every day, and these troopers will help give the Patrol a new perspective to handle emerging issues and challenges.”
Candidates who have a post-secondary degree, 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 attend the State Patrol Trooper Candidate School, starting in January 2014, for further training.
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.