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Minnesota Legislature

Police exam eligibility change

Published (3/6/2009)
By Mike Cook
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Some military police veterans could need one more background requirement before taking the test to become state-licensed police officers.

A person with five years of active duty military police service who has been honorably discharged is now eligible to take the examination, but HF980 would provide exam eligibility to someone who has graduated from a military law enforcement academy, has three years of military police experience and has earned at least a two-year college degree.

It would also permit someone who has five years of full-time peace officer experience in another state and some active duty military law enforcement experience to take the exam.

“The way you can tell if they’re eligible is the military has what they call ‘military occupational specialty numbers,’” said Rep. Bernie Lieder (DFL-Crookston), the bill’s sponsor. “So it wouldn’t just be somebody that would be in the MPs maybe pulling guard duty or something. They actually have to be trained in law enforcement in the academy.”

Lieder said the law enforcement community supports the bill because “it would give some diversity to their applicants.”

Approved without discussion March 3 by the House Public Safety Policy and Oversight Committee, the bill next goes to the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee.

A companion, SF908, sponsored by Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-Duluth), awaits action by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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