Police Officer Requirements – Wisconsin

Wisconsin Training and Standards Bureau

Summary:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • US Citizenship
  • A two-year associate degree from a Wisconsin technical college system district or its accredited equivalent from another state or a minimum of 60 fully accredited credits (semester credits) or 90 accredited quarter credits.
  • Valid Wisconsin driver’s license
  • No felony conviction or any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Submit fingerprint records
  • Undergo background investigation
  • Good physical, emotional or mental condition
  • Undergo a physical assessment
  • Pass Oral Interview with the employing agency
  • Submit to a drug test

Minimum Employment Standards Applicants for employment as a law enforcement, tribal law enforcement jail and/or secure juvenile detention officer must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Applicants must possess a general educational development diploma or be a high school graduate who has completed a secondary education program through a public school, private school, an equivalency diploma program, or home education program within the United States or its territories. Criteria for proof of compliance includes any of the following:
    • A general educational development diploma.
    • A high school diploma issued by a public school education program.
    • A high school diploma issued by a private school.
    • A high school equivalency diploma.
    • Copies of form PI-1206 filed with the Department of Public Instruction for applicants who have completed a home school program in Wisconsin, or documentation that the education program has met the requirements of the Department of Education from the state where the home school program was completed. Home-schooled students may also substitute an official college transcript showing completion of at least 60 associate degree level college credits or higher at a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education.
  • Law enforcement or tribal law enforcement officers employed on or after February 1, 1993, must possess either a two-year associate degree from a Wisconsin technical college system district or its accredited equivalent from another state or a minimum of 60 fully accredited credits. An applicant for law enforcement or tribal law enforcement employment who has not met this standard at the time of initial law enforcement or tribal law enforcement employment must meet the standard by the end of their fifth year of employment.
  • Applicants must possess a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or other such valid operator’s permit recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as authorizing operation of a motor vehicle in Wisconsin.
  • Applicants must not have been convicted of any federal felony or of any offense which if committed in Wisconsin could be punished as a felony unless the applicant has been granted an absolute and unconditional pardon.
  • Applicants for employment as a law enforcement or tribal law enforcement officer must not have been convicted of any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless the applicant has been granted an absolute and unconditional pardon.
    • The Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 amended the Federal Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(9). Under these provisions, it is unlawful for an individual convicted of a state or federal “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms or ammunition. Law enforcement officers are not exempt from this law.
    • A “misdemeanor crime of violence,” pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §921(33)(a), means an offense that: has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.
    • “Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence” include all misdemeanors that involve the use or attempted use of physical force (e.g., simple assault, assault and battery) if the offense is committed by one of the defined parties. This is true whether or not the State statute or local ordinance specifically defines the offense as a domestic violence misdemeanor.
  • Wisconsin State Statute §66.0501(1) states that no person may be appointed deputy sheriff of any county or police officer of any city, village or town unless that person is a citizen of the United States. Wisconsin State Statute does not require United States citizenship for elected sheriffs, chiefs of police, state law enforcement officers, and deputy sheriffs who are not required to take an oath of office.
  • Applicants must be of good character as determined from a written report containing the results of the following:
    • The fingerprinting of the applicant with a search of local, state and national fingerprint records.
    • A background investigation conducted by or on behalf of the employing agency.
    • Other investigations as may be deemed necessary to provide a basis of judgment on the applicant’s loyalty to the United States or to detect conditions which adversely affect performance of one’s duty as a law enforcement, tribal law enforcement, jail or secure juvenile detention officer.
  • Applicants must be free from any physical, emotional or mental condition which might adversely affect performance of duties as a law enforcement, tribal law enforcement, jail or secure juvenile detention officer.
  • Applicants must undergo a physical assessment by a licensed physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner to verify that they can meet the physical standards required of the position. The applicant must also provide the examiner with a personal medical history. The physical assessment will be conducted no more than nine (9) months prior to an applicant’s first date of employment.
  • Applicants must complete a satisfactory oral interview with the employing agency.
  • Applicants must submit to a drug test for the presence of the following controlled substances or their metabolites: amphetamines, cannabis or cannabinoids, opiates, cocaine, and phencyclidine (PCP). The drug test analysis will only be conducted by a laboratory certified by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Drug testing must be conducted upon hire, and within 60 days prior to an applicant’s first date of employment. 27 NOTE: Under §165.85(4)(e), Wis. Stats., any law enforcement or tribal law enforcement agency or sheriff may set recruit training and standards that are higher than the minimum standards set by the Law Enforcement Standards Board.

DISQUALIFIERS:

Your application will be rejected if any of the following are true:

  • You have been convicted of a felony.
  • You have been dishonorably discharged from any branch of the United States Military Service.
  • You have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
  • You have failed a Milwaukee Police Department background investigation within the last two years from the date of application.
  • You have been terminated / discharged or resigned with charges pending from either the Milwaukee Police Department or Milwaukee Fire Department within the last two years from the date of application.
  • Applicants may also be disqualified on the basis of background