There is No “Fast-Track” Training Option for MPD Officers

There is some incorrect information being circulated about MPD’s officer training programs, including that there is a “Fast-Track” option. That is simply not true.

To set the record straight about the training and qualifications of MPD Officers:

New officers, with no previous law enforcement experience, can join the Minneapolis Police Department as either a Recruit Police Officer or Police Cadet. Which path they follow depends on their past education and certifications. Minnesota is one of only two states in the nation to require a two-year degree to become a licensed police officer.


To be hired as a Recruit Police Officer, you must have a two or four year Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice degree through a Professional Peace Officer Education (PPOE) program which includes practical skills training. You must have also passed the P.O.S.T. Licensing Exam. Once hired by the MPD, the recruits complete a 16-18 week (depending on the scheduling) in-house academy. From there they enter the Minneapolis Police Department’s Field Training Program (see below).


To be hired as a Police Cadet, you must have a two or four year degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university, and must NOT have passed the P.O.S.T. Licensing Exam. The City of Minneapolis then pays for the Cadet to complete Law Enforcement certificate courses through a PPOE program which includes skills training simultaneously as they go through MPD’s in-house academy. This academic training is comparable to the training recruits receive before being hired by the MPD. This lasts approximately 8 months. Cadets are promoted to Police Officer upon successful completion of the P.O.S.T. Board academic and skills requirements. From there they enter the Minneapolis Police Department’s Field Training Program (see below). The MPD Cadet Program started back in 1989 and has helped the MPD hire a number of highly qualified and decorated officers, including many of our current Chiefs, Inspectors, and Commanders.


MPD Field Training Program is the longest FTO program in the state of Minnesota and lasts approximately five and a half months. It is designed to supplement academic instruction through hands on training. With the guidance of an experienced officer, new officers gradually acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to work on their own. An integral part of the MPD Field Training Program is daily, weekly and monthly evaluations. After the completion of the FTO program, an officer will have worked in two precincts, on multiple shift, and with a minimum of 4 experienced officers.

Our program utilizes the Recruit Officer Performance Evaluation (ROPE) form as the primary instrument for rating an officer’s progress. Each officer must be rated on 75 ROPE forms before advancing to the final evaluation phase. Tasks contain a representative listing of duties and knowledge a patrol officer will need to know in performance of their duties as police officers. There are 69 tasks, divided into five phases.

The final eight days of the 75 day period are monitored to document that the recruit has achieved acceptable ratings in all categories of the ROPE form. Successful completion of this phase allows the recruit to advance to the ten day final evaluation phase.

In this portion of the training, the officer works as though they are by themselves. The FTO observes and evaluates the officer, and will only assist in instances where a clear and present danger exists. After successful completion of the Field Training Program, the new officer is assigned to a permanent shift with the MPD and  monitored for the remainder of his/her probationary period.

To learn more about Minnesota P.O.S.T standards, visit: https://dps.mn.gov/entity/post/becoming-a-peace-officer/Pages/peace-officer-how-to-become.aspx

To learn more about Recruit Police Officers, visit: https://www.insidempd.com/employment/recruit-police-officer/

To learn more about Police Cadets, visit: https://www.insidempd.com/employment/police-cadet/