The process for becoming a Trooper

A popular question troopers often get about our career is, “Was it really hard to get into the state police?”

Followed by the statement, “I hear it’s harder than the military process.” By no means is the process easy to get into the Michigan State Police, and as for it being harder than the military, that I cannot answer.

The very first step to starting a career with the Michigan State Police (MSP) is the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination that is scheduled and administered by the Michigan Department of Civil Service. This exam evaluates the skills, knowledge and abilities related to elements of law enforcement positions.

After passing the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination, the score will be good for five years, and the applicant must complete the online NEOGOV State Police Trooper application, which is the second step. Applicants will be required to upload multiple documents into NEOGOV when filling out the online application such as their birth certificate, diplomas, etc.

Step three is a Supplemental Application. Once the applicant’s NEOGOV application is received and reviewed the applicant will receive an email request to submit a supplemental application. This supplemental application must be thoroughly completed. Any omissions shall be cause for disqualification.

Candidates must furnish complete name, address, and telephone numbers of employers, references, schools attended, creditors, etc.

The fourth step is to complete the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards Physical Agility Test, which is overseen by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES.) This physical agility test consists of four separate areas: Vertical jump, sit-ups, push-ups, and a ¢-mile shuttle run. Upon successful completion of this, you then make it to step five, which is the Pre-Screening Interview, an interview to assist with determining if an applicant meets the minimum qualifications necessary to continue with the selection process; it is not a hiring interview.

The sixth and seventh step to the process is Background Investigation and review. This is considered the most important step in the selection process, as a current MSP enlisted member conducts a thorough and comprehensive background investigation, including the applicant’s past actions and experiences, to help determine the applicant’s suitability for employment.

If the applicant passes the background investigation they then make it to the Hiring Interview, which is step eight. The interview is designed to assess specific competencies necessary to perform the duties of a Trooper. If the applicant passes the interview they then make it to step mine, the Conditional Offer of Employment. This offer states that, if the candidate passes the remaining pre-employment steps, the candidate will be appointed to the Academy.

Step 10 is the Appointment to a Recruit School. Applicants who successfully complete all selection process steps are invited to the next scheduled recruit school. Applicants will receive an appointment letter describing details of the recruit school orientation and specific equipment necessary to begin the training.

The training academy is held in Lansing and runs about 20-22 weeks. The day begins at 5 a.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. The day includes physical fitness training, classroom instruction, driving, shooting, and first aid, along with many other topics to become qualified for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) test. Recruits are required to live at the academy during the week and are released on Friday evenings, and return on Sunday evenings. This is a great sacrifice that takes commitment and a strong desire to succeed to earn the title of Trooper.

The final step in the process is step 11 with the Field Training Officer (FTO) Program. This is completed after graduation from recruit school at the post level with senior troopers.

These steps can be found in detail on the Michigan State Police website, www.mi.gov/MSPjobs, by clicking on the tab titled “Trooper” and then “Trooper Hiring Process.” The 11 steps of applicant process can be found there along with other information. If you are interested in a career with the MSP, you can also contact your local post recruiter at 354-4101.

Ashley Simpson is a Community Service Trooper for the MSP Alpena Post. If you have a question for Trooper Simpson, you can email her at asktroopersimpson@gmail.com or mail them to Ask A Trooper, Michigan State Police Alpena Post, 3283 W. Washington Ave, Alpena, MI 49707.


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