Minneapolis police push back on 'fast track' training report

Reports suggested the officer who shot Justine Damond went through accelerated training.

There's no "fast track" option to become a Minneapolis cop, the city's police department said Sunday

The statement comes in response to what the department calls "some incorrect information" being shared about officer training programs following the fatal shooting of Justine Damond on July 15. 

The Minneapolis Police Department didn't specifically say what the "incorrect information" was, but it seems to be related to this Star Tribune story over the weekend, which was picked up by media outlets across the world. 

The story was about the "fast-track training" Mohamed Noor – the cop who shot Damond – went through to become an officer.

The paper said Minneapolis "made a significant financial investment" in Noor, noting he graduated in 2015 from the city's seven-month "accelerated police cadet program."

Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden posted about the Star Tribune's story on Facebook, calling the story "concerning" and saying it suggested Noor's training was incomplete. 

How can someone become an MPD officer?

The Minneapolis Police Department says there's no such thing as an accelerated program, and noted Minnesota is one of only two states that requires a two-year degree to become a licensed police officer. (Wisconsin is the other one, the Star Tribune says.) 

The PD wanted to "set the record straight," so it shared information about how to become an officer.

There are two general paths: Someone can join the department as a recruit police officer or a police cadet. It depends on the experience the person already has. 

Here's a side-by-side of what each entails:

Much of the training is the same, but a police cadet goes through the in-house training and PPOE program at the same time, rather than separately.

The police cadet training is apparently what Noor went through to become an officer, according to the Star Tribune. Noor graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in economics and business administration, and worked in property management before joining the MPD, a city newsletter said.

In a statement through his attorney, Noor said becoming a police officer was "a calling." 

The police department says the police cadet training is comparable to what the recruits who come straight from a criminal justice program get.

Former Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, who was critical of Noor's actions, stood by his training, telling reporters he performed well in his field training and was "very suited to be on the street." 

Other cities have cadet programs too

Some other cities have similar cadet training programs. In fact, St. Louis Park and Bloomington both recently started their own programs to bring in nontraditional candidates to be officers. 

The programs in these cities are modeled after what the Minnesota State Patrol does to recruit and train law enforcement officials. 

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