• All interested persons are encouraged to contact a MSP recruiter for assistance with the selection process.

State Properties Security Officer Hiring Process

SPSO Hiring Process
Step 1: Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination

Scheduled and administered by the Michigan Department of Civil Service. To sign up for an exam time, applicants must submit the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination Application. Visit How to Begin the Application Process for more information. The exam is also administered nationwide by the National Testing Network. The examination evaluates the skills, knowledge and abilities related to elements of law enforcement positions.

If you have taken and passed the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Exam within the last five years, you are eligible to move onto Step 2, the NEOGOV Application.

Step 2: Experience and Education Questionnaire

After passing the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination, applicants will receive a request to submit an Experience and Education Questionnaire (PD-034).

This comprehensive questionnaire must be thoroughly completed. Any omissions shall be cause for disqualification. Candidates must furnish complete name, address, and telephone numbers of employers, references, schools attended, creditors, etc. It must be typed and submitted as an email attachment to the Recruiting and Selection Unit at msprecruiting@michigan.gov. Once reviewed, candidates will be invited to the The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Physical Agility Test.

If you have taken and passed the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Exam within the last five years, you are eligible to submit your Experience and Education Questionnaire to msprecruiting@michigan.gov. Once the completed Experience and Education Questionnaire is received, you will be informed of the next available physical fitness test date.

Step 3: Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Physical Agility Test

The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Physical Agility Test, administered by MCOLES-certified MSP members, consists of four separate areas: vertical jump, sit-ups, push-ups and a ½ mile shuttle run. You can view a video of how to properly perform these exercises. You are required to bring a completed Physician's Health Screening form and your valid driver's license (Michigan license required prior to start of recruit school) with you to the agility test. You can also take the Physical Fitness Test at an MCOLES approved certified training facility within 6 months of submitting your MSP application. View the MCOLES Testing schedule.

Applicants must bring the following documents to their scheduled MCOLES Physical Fitness Test:

  • Resume and cover letter indicating interest in the State Properties Security Officer position
  • Signed copy of Experience and Education Questionnaire (PD-034)
  • Original and copy of a valid driver's license (Michigan license required prior to start of recruit school)
  • Original and copy of birth certificate
  • Original and copy of social security card
  • Official high school transcript or G.E.D. certificate; Official college transcripts from all schools attended (if applicable)
  • Original and copy of a Military Certificate of Release from Active Duty (if applicable)
  • Completed Physician's Health Screening form
Step 4: Pre-Screening Interview

The interview assists with determining if an applicant meets the minimum qualifications necessary to continue with the selection process; it is not a hiring interview. Based on the pre-screening interview, members of the MSP Recruiting and Selection Section make three possible determinations: (1) the applicant is disqualified from the selection process; (2) in a minimum of two years the applicant may reapply for the selection process; or (3) the applicant can continue with the selection process. Applicants are notified of the results within 10 business days.

Step 5: Background Investigation

Considered the most important step in the selection process, a trained department employee conducts a thorough and comprehensive background investigation, including the applicant's past actions and experiences, to help determine the applicant's suitability for employment. The investigating officer will have access to all the information provided in the required candidate documents as well as the results from the Pre-Screening Interview, criminal history check and credit check.

Step 6: Background Investigation Review

The department places significant emphasis on the results of an applicant's background investigation. Members of the MSP Recruiting and Selection Section thoroughly review the completed investigations to determine if applicants will continue with the selection process.

Step 7: Hiring Interview

Designed to assess specific competencies necessary to perform the duties of the State Properties Security Officer 7 , the hiring interview will be based on the Michigan Department of Civil Service validated job assessment for the position. Each applicant will be asked a series of questions in one or more of the following categories:

  • Building Trust
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Adaptability
  • Continuous Learning
  • Decision Making
  • Customer Focus
  • Work Standards
  • Communication
  • Initiating Action
  • Job Fit

In the hiring interview candidates will be asked to describe their experience(s) in the above areas. Candidates will be required to describe to the interview panel (board consisting of three departmental members) a situation or task, the action taken, and the results of that action. Your success depends on your ability to articulate what you have done to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform as a law enforcement officer, although the experience may have occurred in some other area.

In addition, questions may arise from the background investigation itself, personal history questionnaire, driving record, credit history, references, criminal history, resume, or other relevant information.

An excellent resource on the Targeted Selection approach to interviewing is the Behavior Based Interviews for STAR techniques webpage, which is provided by the Michigan Civil Service Commission. 

Step 8: Conditional Offer of Employment

Pursuant to applicable state and federal law, candidates who achieve a rating high enough to merit appointment to the Academy are given a conditional offer of employment. This offer states that, if the candidate passes the remaining pre-employment steps, the candidate will be appointed to the Academy. Candidates must continue to meet the minimum requirements. Negative information that comes to the attention of the department after a conditional offer of employment is made is open to review, and may subject the candidate to revocation of the offer.

Psychological Screening and Medical Examination

All candidates shall undergo a psychological screening administered at the direction of the department's Behavioral Sciences Section prior to appointment to an Academy. All candidates must pass this examination within 120 days prior to appointment.

Drug Screening

All candidates shall be drug screened at least once prior to appointment to the Academy. This screening may take place at any time after the written test result notification received. No warning will be given to the candidate prior to the scheduling of this screening. Failure to attend or pass this screening shall result in immediate disqualification.

Step 9: Appointment

Applicants who successfully complete all selection process steps are invited to the next scheduled recruit school. Applicants will receive an appointment letter describing details of the recruit school orientation and specific equipment necessary to begin the training.

Step 10: Academy Training

The SPSO training program consists of an 8-10 week recruit school conducted in a residential and classroom setting in the Lansing area.

Step 11: Field Training Officer (FTO) Program

After graduation, recruits are assigned as probationary State Properties Security Officers. Each probationary officer is assigned a Field Training Officer (FTO). The FTO program is eight weeks. At the completion of the Field Training Program, probationers are certified to work alone.