Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

Milwaukee Hiring New Police Officers

Milwaukee planning for three recruiting classes in 2024, starting pay is $64,000.

By - May 19th, 2023 12:33 pm
Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Police Chief Jeffrey Norman is looking for individuals who have a calling to serve.

The Milwaukee Police Department is opening its hiring process for new police officers.

“This is not a job. I don’t even like to call it a career. This is a calling,” said Norman at a City Hall press conference Thursday afternoon.

And even if it is a calling, it’s still among the best-paid government jobs around. “The Milwaukee Police Department offers a good career path, very respectable compensation, promotional opportunities and solid job security as well,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson. Starting pay is $63,564 and can grow with service time to $84,743. During a 27-week academy training process, individuals will be paid an annual rate of $47,673.

Fire & Police Commission director Leon W. Todd, III, whose office administers the hiring process, said that while there still would be three application periods for three recruiting classes, the FPC would accept applications year-round. “This continuous recruitment process is designed not only to expand our overall applicant pool, but it is also designed to be more applicant-focused and applicant-friendly,” said Todd. Applications submitted outside of a designated window are to be be processed during the next window.

Individuals must be at least 20 years old at the time of application and 21 at the time of appointment. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, have a high school diploma or GED, be able to physically perform the role, pass a background review and possess a driver’s license.

“We often prep sessions at every step of the way and we have a dedicated staff to answer questions,” said Todd. Individuals can call 414-286-5000 for information, text 414-519-6190 or email Though currently buried on the FPC website, the job posting is available online.

Applicants are scored, with preference points awarded to military veterans, city residents and those with a college degree in a related field.

The first hiring period ends June 16, the second Sept. 15 and the third Dec. 1. In successive steps after each period closes, applications are reviewed and a written test is offered, an oral interview is conducted, a physical readiness test performed and a pre-employment process completed. The police academy training classes will all take place in 2024. The applicants that are about to start a training class in August were already selected.

Are the approximately 1,600 sworn officers currently employed by MPD enough? Norman said he will take whatever is “bestowed” upon him, but that strategy also matters. “It’s not about the final numbers. It’s about what we are doing with those that are here.” He said the department is working to utilize non-sworn personnel better, divert calls that don’t need a sworn officer response and accept more reports online. Chief of staff Heather Hough told a council committee in late April that the department has worked to reduce wait times for tow trucks to arrive as the city expands its towing policy.

A third-party staffing study, completed earlier this year, found that the department needed 11 more sworn personnel and 116 more civilian positions.

“We need to be a little bit more forward-thinking,” said Norman about expanding the applicant pool. He said that includes the time in which applications can be submitted, allowing physical readiness test results to be valid for longer and better telling the story of the department to the community. “We are working on a culture of dedicated service, to understand how to be humane not only to our community, but to each other.” He said he wanted the “right people with the right mindset” that have compassion, empathy and dedication and understand it is a challenging, difficult profession. “The citizens of our community deserve people that want to be there for the right reasons.”


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