Milwaukee Police Department Officer Requirements

The Milwaukee Police Department partners with the community to create and maintain safe neighborhoods with a sense of civic pride. Approximately 2,000 sworn officers work for the Milwaukee PD, serving a population of 600,000 residents.1 Community-focused initiatives supported by the Milwaukee Police Department include business block watches, neighborhood watches, and neighborhood clean-up drives.

Steps to Becoming a Milwaukee PD Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Complete an online application.
  3. Pass the department's written and oral exams.
  4. Pass the physical agility exam.
  5. Pass the medical exam and drug screen.
  6. Pass the psychological screening.
  7. Pass the background investigation.
  8. Complete police academy training.
  9. Complete 16 months of field training and probation.
  10. Begin working independently as a Milwaukee police officer.
  11. Earn at least 60 college credits within five years of hire (only applies to recruits who do not have 60 college credits at the time of hire).

How to Become a Milwaukee, Wisconsin Police Officer

The Milwaukee Police Department requires all candidates to complete a thorough selection process, which includes passing written and oral examinations, a physical ability test, a medical exam, a psychological evaluation, and a drug test. Applicants will also submit a writing sample and must pass an extensive background check. Successful candidates will enter a 23-week recruit training program, followed by a probationary period of 16 months.

Police officers have six months to become residents of the city of Milwaukee after being hired and must maintain residency in the city throughout their employment with the police department. To maintain their employment status, all police officers who do not meet the college experience requirement at the time of hire must earn an associate's degree or successfully complete 60 college credits within five years of their hire date. Failure to do so may result in termination by the Milwaukee Police Department.

Milwaukee Police Officer Job Description

Police officers in the city of Milwaukee enforce city and state laws. Their duties include responding to calls, interviewing witnesses and suspects, writing reports, patrolling the city, directing traffic, ensuring citizens follow traffic laws, and detaining suspects. The Milwaukee Police Department may assign police officers to special units, such as the Neighborhood Task Force or the Fugitive Apprehension Unit. New police officers are generally assigned to the 4 PM to midnight shift or the midnight to 8 AM shift. All officers must be willing to work weekends and holidays.

Milwaukee Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

All applicants to the Milwaukee Police Department must be at least 21 years old, be a citizen of the United States, have earned a high school diploma or GED, possess a valid driver's license, and be a resident of the city of Milwaukee within six months of being hired. Police officers must maintain residency in the city throughout their employment.

Additionally, all officers are required to have at least 60 semester hours of college credit or an associate's degree, although prospective recruits who do not meet this qualification are permitted five years from the date of hire to complete the education requirement. Failure to meet the requirement within five years of hire will result in the officer's termination from employment with the Milwaukee Police Department.

Prospective hires must successfully complete all stages of the screening process. Selected recruits will complete 23 weeks of training at Milwaukee's police academy, followed by field experience at an assigned district police station. New officers must also complete a 16-month probationary period.

Milwaukee Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately 3,290 police and sheriff's officers work in metropolitan Milwaukee, with an average annual salary of $60,140.2 The starting salary for new recruits is $49,786 per year, with step increases up to a maximum of $66,606 based on years in service.3 Benefits for all Milwaukee police officers include paid vacation (after one year of service), sick pay, health insurance, dental insurance, tuition reimbursement, and uniform allowance. Police officers assigned to specialized units may receive differential pay for their service.

Contact Information

Twitter: @MilwaukeePolice

Milwaukee Police Department
749 W State St
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Do I need a college degree to work for the Milwaukee PD?

Answer: While a college degree is not required to be hired as a Milwaukee police officer, officers must earn at least 60 college credits (equivalent to many associate's degree programs) within five years of their hire date. Those who do not meet this requirement may be terminated from employment.

Question: Is the Milwaukee Police Department hiring?

Answer: The Milwaukee PD hires police recruits on a periodic basis. To be notified when applications are being accepted, you can sign up for the City of Milwaukee E-Notify service.

Question: How much do Milwaukee police officers earn per year?

Answer: The starting salary for Milwaukee police officers is $49,786 per year.3 Officers can increase their salaries through regular step increases based on longevity as well as overtime and other incentives.

1. Milwaukee Police Department:
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis:
3. City of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission:

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