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

Lateral Entry Hiring Process
Step 1: NEOGOV Application

Applicants will be required to upload the following documents into NEOGOV when filling out the online application, if applicable:

  • Resume and cover letter indicating interest in the Trooper position
  • Valid driver's license (Michigan license required by graduation from recruit school)
  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Official high school transcript or G.E.D. certificate
  • Official college transcripts from all schools attended (if applicable)
  • Military Certificate of Release from Active Duty (if applicable)
  • Proof of law enforcement licensing, if available
  • MCOLES Licensing Certificate, if available
  • MCOLES training records
  • Proof of law enforcement employment
  • Authorization for Release of Information PD-044
  • QI Form
  • Inspector General Report

Marijuana use is prohibited under federal law for any purpose. Any marijuana use after submitting an application is prohibited and will result in a 1-year deferment from the selection process.

Step 2: 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 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 3: Hiring Interview

Designed to assess specific competencies necessary to perform the duties of the Trooper, 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
  • Adaptability
  • Decision Making
  • Work Standards
  • Initiating Action
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Continuous Learning
  • Customer Focus
  • Communication
  • 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 4: 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. Applicants will be asked for their top 3 post assignment selections at the time of the conditional 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 appointment to an Academy. All candidates must pass this examination and a medical examination within 180 days prior to appointment.
  • Drug Screening: All candidates must pass this examination and a medical examination within 180 days prior to appointment. All candidates shall be drug screened at least once prior to appointment to the Academy.
  • MCOLES Physical Fitness Test: All applicants will be required to update the MCOLES Physical Fitness Test with the Michigan State Police before the start of recruit school.
Step 5: 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, as well as their post assignment.

Step 6: Academy Training

Lateral recruit schools are 10 weeks. Recruits are required to live at the academy during the week and are released on Friday evenings. They are required to return on Sunday evenings. This is a great sacrifice that takes commitment and a strong desire to succeed.

Later phases of lateral recruit training will be open campus.

Learn more about a recruit's life


Out-of-State Applicants Additional Steps