Police officers are often considered the preservers of law and order in civilized societies. As law enforcement officials, these officers have an important responsibility to uphold law and ensure that the community is abiding by the laws that govern it. This results in an orderly and safe society for everyone.

Police officers carry out a large variety of tasks in the carrying out of their job. Furthermore, this occupation is often difficult, demanding, and sometimes very dangerous. The training process can also be quite challenging.

If you are considering a career in law enforcement or wish to find out more about a police officer’s job,  read on.

What Do Police Officers Do?

Police officers are entrusted with a variety of responsibilities and duties in order to ensure that law and order are preserved in society.

Typically, tasks and responsibilities include some or all of the following:

  • Patrol and supervise the community
  • Investigate crimes and crime scenes, accidents, etc
  • Act as the first response team in the event of a crises
  • Apprehend and detain criminals and offenders
  • Provide emergency assistance to those injured in accidents or crimes
  • Obtain evidence and secure interviews from witnesses from a crime scene
  • Provide education and information to the community on crime prevention and awareness
  • Testify in court for cases they were involved in
What Are the Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Michigan?
How to Become a Police Officer in Michigan

What Are the Minimum Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Michigan?

In Michigan, the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards or MCOLES is the authority which sets the professional standards for law enforcement and criminal justice. Candidates aspiring to become licensed law enforcement officials must meet the minimum selection criteria set by MCOLES and gain its approval.

The precise selection criteria are listed in the Employment Standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers.

Candidates must:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of application, although there is no upper age limit
  • Be citizens of the United States
  • Be a resident of the state of Michigan
  • Have a valid Michigan driver’s license
  • With respect to educational background, have at least a high school diploma or GED
  • Not be convicted of any felony or misdemeanor. In other words, have a clean criminal record
  • Have an irreproachable moral character
  • Not suffer from any disability, chronic disabilities, physical defects, or emotional/mental instabilities
  • Have good vision including proper perception of color as well 20/20 corrected vision in each eye
  • Have good hearing

In addition to the requirements, a candidate is required to:

  • Clear a drug test
  • Submit their fingerprints
  • Pass a physical fitness test, the MCOLES physical fitness pre-enrollment examination
  • Complete basic training in the MCOLES mandatory basic training curriculum
  • Pass a reading and writing exam (either the MCOLES reading and writing examination or an exam approved by the specific agency you’re applying to as an equivalent)
  • After completing basic training, pass the MCOLES licensing examination
  • Participate in an oral interview

How Long Does It Take To Become a Police Officer in Michigan?

The time that it takes to become a police officer will vary according to each individual candidate. For instance, some individuals may have prior experience and so their training time may be less than those who have no training.

With respect to basic training, all approved training academies are required to teach about 594 hours’ worth of curriculum. Then you must also factor in all the other tests you must take.

If you wish to get a general idea of how long it will take you, it is advisable that you get in touch with the police agency you intend to apply to and work with. Explain your background, and they may be able to give you an idea of the time-frame you will be looking at to become a police officer.

What Are the Steps to Becoming a Police Officer in Michigan?

  • Meet all the selection criteria identified by MCOLES
  • Take two pre-enrollment tests (reading and writing and a physical fitness test)
  • Complete basic training at an approved training academy
  • Pass a licensing exam
  • Get license activated through MCOLES by being sworn in as a law enforcement officer

Prospective Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled data which indicates that the rate of employment growth in this field is projected to rise 5% between 2012 and 2022.

The data from O*NET OnLine, reports the median annual salary for:

  • Police and Sherriff’s Patrol Officers was $55,000 in 2013
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators was $81,200 in 2013

Police officers and law enforcement are essential features of any community. They work to keep their cities safe and orderly by upholding the law. If you wish to become a law enforcement official, there are a number of steps which must be taken, including extensive and demanding physical training. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements set out by MCOLES for the state of Michigan and then proceed to completing all the necessary tests. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How are the minimum requirements for becoming a police officer in Michigan determined?

Ans: In Michigan, the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards or MCOLES is the body which sets the professional standards for criminal justice and law enforcement. In order to become licensed law enforcement official, all candidates must meet all of the minimum selection criteria which is set by MCOLES and gain the approval of this body. For the selection criteria on how to become a police officer in Michigan, please refer to the Employment Standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers.

Q: What are my job prospects if I become a police officer in Michigan?

Ans: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth for the field of law enforcement is expected to rise 5% between 2012 and 2022. In 2013, O*NET OnLine reported that the annual salary for Police and Sherriff’s Patrol Officers was $55,000 and for Detectives and Criminal Investigators it was $81,200. Keep checking these two websites for the latest figures related to job prospects in the field.