How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Minneapolis
Police Department

The detectives employed with the Minneapolis Police Department are the life-blood of the Department’s several investigative units. The talented men and women assigned to operate these units are charged with many responsibilities, including:

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  • Collecting and analyzing evidence
  • Interviewing suspects, victims, and witnesses
  • Preparing cases for prosecution by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office
  • Providing testimony during court proceedings

There are currently approximately 800 sworn officers and criminal investigators employed by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Steps to Becoming a Detective with the Minneapolis Police Department

Individuals that want to become a detective in Minneapolis need to work as a police officer with the Police Department first. After gaining a few years of experience, police officers can receive specialized training to become eligible for detective jobs in investigative units.

To join the Minneapolis PD by becoming a police office, job candidates must meet several basic requirements, including:

  • United States citizenship
  • Valid Minnesota driver’s license
  • Must have no felony convictions
  • Minnesota POST license or passing POST exam score
  • At least 20/100 uncorrected vision or 20/40 correctable vision
  • Ability to correctly distinguish red, yellow, and green color
  • Must meet standard hearing average threshold
  • Ability to obtain “Minnesota State Permit to Acquire Handguns from a Federal Firearms Dealer”
  • Pass physical examination
  • Pass psychological assessment
  • Pass drug screening
  • Pass physical fitness evaluation
  • Pass background investigation

The Minneapolis Police Department places heavy emphasis on the importance of hiring college-educated police officers and detectives. In fact, a post-secondary degree is a requirement for most qualifying pathways into the Department. Since field-related degrees are preferred, job candidates are encouraged to search for programs in disciplines like law enforcement and criminal justice. Examples of field-related degree programs offered in Minnesota include:

  • Associate of Arts in Law Enforcement
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics
  • Bachelor of Science in Police Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology of Law
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Public Safety Administration

Minneapolis Police Department Career Pathways

Once aspiring detectives meet all basic requirements for police officer jobs with the Minneapolis Police Department, they have four pathways to gain entrance into the workforce. These four pathways involve 1) post-secondary degrees 2) certificate programs 3) out-of-state reciprocity 4) military reciprocity.

Post-secondary degrees: These candidates have completed a two or four year post-secondary degree in either law enforcement or criminal justice. This degree must be through a Professional Peace Officer Education program. This pathway also requires candidates to pass the POST licensing exam.

Certificate programs: These candidates hold a post-secondary degree in a field other than law enforcement or criminal justice. Therefore, they are required to complete a certificate courses in law enforcement through the Peace Officer Education program. This pathway also requires candidates to pass the POST licensing exam.

Out-of-state reciprocity: These candidates have a post-secondary degree and three years of experience working in law enforcement or they have no post-secondary degree and five years of experience in law enforcement. This pathway also requires candidates to complete a basic police education course that is POST-approved and must pass the POST reciprocity exam.

Military Reciprocity: These candidates have five years of military experience with honorable discharge status. This pathway also requires candidates to pass the POST reciprocity exam.

Investigative Units within the Minneapolis Police Department

Investigative units are often divided according to specific crime type, such as the Assault Unit, Robbery Unit, Forgery Fraud Unit, and Graffiti Unit. Other units are categorized according to type of victim or offender, such as the Vulnerable Adults Unit and Juvenile Unit.

Detectives may be appointed to work in a certain unit depending on their individual level of work experience, skill set, assignment preference, and specialized training history.

Examples of investigative units within the Minneapolis Police Department include:

  • Family Violence Unit
  • Sex Crimes Unit
  • Homicide Unit
  • Precinct Investigations Unit
  • Crime Lab Unit
  • Narcotics Unit
  • License Investigation Unit
  • Homeland Security Unit

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