ROCHESTER, Minn. - Traffic fatalities across Minnesota are on the rise. In hopes of helping keep our roads safe, the Minnesota State Patrol is hiring more troopers. State Patrol recenty received bonding bill money from the state legislature to make the hires happen.
Minnesota State Patrol is looking to hire 60 troopers. Half will be traditional applicants, and the other half will be Law Enforcement Training Opportunity, or LETO applicants.
Traditional applications have already completed a Professional Peace Officer Education Program and are Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) licensed or license-eligible. Applicants go through a series of tests as part of the hiring process, then atend 15 weeks of Trooper Training Academy and 12 weeks of field training. Trainees receive the full base salary of a State Trooper while in training.
LETO is a program unique to Minnesota State Patrol to recruit people who don't have law enforcement backgrounds and diversify the perspectives of the State Patrol. To be eligible, applicants must have an Associate's or Bachelor's Degree in any discipline. Once hired, trainees will receive the education requirements needed to take the POST test. After 23 weeks of education at the Hennepin Technical and Community College, trainees will attend the 15 week Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Training Academy with the traditional applicants. LETO tuition is paid for by the Minnesota State Patrol and trainees will be paid 80% of the trooper base salary.
Sgt. Phillip Bogojevic joined the Minnesota State Patrol by way of LETO. He had a four year degree in another field was was working with people with brain injuries. Many of them were injured through car or motorcycle crashes, so Sgt. Bogojevic was interested in playing a part in prevention.
"Have you ever been driving on the roadway and you see somebody's driving behavior that is dangerous, or you see somebody on their phone, driving, and you say, 'I wish there was a law enforcement officer here. I wish there was a police officer here to stop them and talk to them about it?' This is an opportunity for you to be that person," says Sgt. Bogojevic.
Applications for both programs are being accepted through November 15. Click here to learn more and apply.
It's not yet determined how many of the 60 new troopers will be working in the Rochester area.