What are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Michigan?
Situated in the Great Lakes Mid-western region, the State of Michigan is the 10th most populous state of the US. The Statewide Law Enforcement agency of Michigan is the Michigan State Police (MSP). It is a full-service agency with sworn members having full powers of law enforcement, as prescribed in statutes, across the State.
Founded in 1917, the department’s recruitment is governed by Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards or MCOLES and the entry-level members are called Troopers. The specific selection criteria to become a trooper in Michigan are codified in the Employment Standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers.
Eligibility Michigan Police Academy
Individuals seeking induction as Troopers in MSP must possess the following attributes:
- Be no less than 18 years old at the time of application.
- Be a citizen of the US and a resident of Michigan.
- Have a valid driver’s license issued or accepted by the State of Michigan.
- Must have a high school diploma or GED.
- Have no prior criminal history i.e. any convictions of any felony or misdemeanor.
- Have an impeccable moral character
- Not suffer from any disability, chronic disabilities, physical defects, or emotional/mental instabilities.
- Have good vision including 20/20 corrected vision in each eye and proper perception of color.
- Have good auditory processing i.e. hearing.
Furthermore, previously licensed police officers in Michigan or any another state may get re-licensed under the Recognition of Prior Training and Experience (RPTE) Program within a year of submission of the application.
Michigan Police Academy Evaluation
MSP, like any other law enforcement agency, has a comprehensive multi-step selection procedure wherein applicants must:
- Qualify a background verification involving the submission of fingerprints.
- Pass a drug test.
- Pass a reading and writing exam i.e. the MCOLES reading and writing an examination or an equivalent exam as notified by MCOLES.
- Qualify the MCOLES physical fitness pre-enrollment examination.
- Secure enrollment in a Basic Training Academy.
- Complete basic training in the MCOLES mandatory basic training curriculum. This training may be less for applicants with prior law enforcement training. Nevertheless, approved training academies are mandated to teach at least 594 hours of the prescribed curriculum.
- After completion of the aforesaid basic training, pass the MCOLES licensing examination.
- Qualify in an oral interview.
It is pertinent to note that MCOLES prescribes three options get enrolled in a Basic Training Academy which are:
Option 1: Direct application to the Law Enforcement Agency, wherein the Agency assumes the cost of training and in-training wages of the hired applicants. Nearly 50% of the candidates qualify for enrollment through this root. Meeting pre-enrollment standards is a must by such candidates, prior to the start of the academy session.
Option 2: A candidate may also opt to become a “pre-service” enrollee and pay for his/her own training provided that he or she possesses an Associate Degree and secures employment with a law enforcement agency as a law enforcement officer within 1 year of graduation.
Such candidates may also obtain one additional year of eligibility by satisfactorily completing the RPTE Program. The training for a “pre-service” candidate lasts for 14-16 weeks.
Option 3: For candidates without a college degree, intent on becoming a “pre-service” candidate, a 2-4 year “pre-service track program” is offered wherein academic classes are offered along with the prescribed 594-hour basic training, effectively combining the mandatory academy training with a traditional degree program in criminal justice.
Activation of License
Subsequent to qualifying all pre-enrollment standards, a candidate is sworn in as a Law Enforcement officer and granted License for the same, through MCOLES.