About the MSP Airport Police Department
Since its formation in 1947, the MSP Airport Police Department (APD) has worked to provide and promote a safe and secure environment for all of MSP's users, including an internationally diverse customer base of 39 million annual passengers and 21,000 airport employees. As one of the largest police forces in the state, the APD serves the entire airport campus, including patrolling the highways surrounding the airport, parking ramps, terminal buildings, roadways, and curbside areas. They also have mutual aid agreements with other local police departments and are active in the communities surrounding MSP's campus.
The APD's approximately 130 sworn officers are licensed by the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Board. All airport police officers also participate in an intensive multi-month training program during their probationary period, both in the classroom and the field, to help ensure their success in the department and the safety of the airport.
Follow the links below or view the video to learn more about the department.
To be the standard of excellence in aviation policing throughout North America.
With public service as our foundation, every member of the Airport Police Department is committed to the preservation of peace, order, and safety. We are dedicated to the protection of life and property, the prevention of crime, and the deterrence of terrorism.
- Selfless Service
- Personal Courage
The Airport Police Operations Center is located in the public area of Terminal 1 on the Baggage Claim Level near Door 1.
Terminal 2 also has a small police office between the ticketing and baggage claim areas on Level 1.
Reducing Vehicle Theft and Break-ins
MSP is a safe and convenient place to park your vehicle. The parking ramps are well-lit, monitored with cameras, equipped with blue emergency call boxes, and patrolled regularly. Vehicle break-ins anywhere are a classic example of crimes based on opportunity. Follow these tips to make your vehicle less appealing to a thief:
- LOCK YOUR CAR.
- Don't invite a break-in by leaving valuables in sight. Electronics, briefcases, purses, bags, and even change are all tempting to a thief. Keep items in your trunk and out of view.
- Take valuables with you whether they can be seen or not.
- Never leave your keys in your vehicle. (This is a violation of local ordinance.)
Theft from checked luggage is another concern. Follow these tips to reduce your chances of being a victim:
- Do not pack valuables in your checked luggage (phones, laptops, tablets, jewelry, currency, etc.).
- Avoid using expensive-looking luggage. Thieves assume if the bag is expensive, the contents might be valuable also.
- Do not pack firearms unless it is a necessity for your trip. If you do, remember to follow TSA guidelines.
- Do not pack medication in your checked luggage.
- Lock your luggage with TSA-approved baggage locks.
- Do not check your bag more than three hours prior to your flight's departure.
- If required to check carry-on luggage at the gate, be prepared to remove valuables from this luggage prior to turning it over to the airline.
- Upon arrival, proceed to baggage claim to retrieve your luggage immediately.
- Immediately report lost/stolen luggage to your airline.
- Immediately report any stolen items from your luggage to your airline and the Airport Police Department.
Community service officers are on duty around the clock patrolling in front of the terminal buildings. Due to federal regulations, parking is not allowed curbside; it is a loading/unloading zone only. The alternatives to waiting curbside are to park in the short-term or hourly parking lots, or wait in the Cell Phone Lots are located off of Highway 5 and Post Road until your party is ready to be picked up.
The Airport Police Department is committed to providing good customer service while enforcing federal security regulations. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-726-5115 should you have any questions or comments regarding curbside security procedures or policies.
Get Involved in Crime Prevention Programs
Even though our community boasts a reputation as a safe place to work, visit and transit, crime happens – even here. Programs such as Night to Unite and Airport Watch allow the public to become more involved and be the "eyes and ears" of law enforcement. Please contact the Airport Police Department for more information about these programs at 612-726-5115.
As of May 30, 2023, Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board Rules (6700.1515) require the publishing of all adopted MN POST Board Required Agency Policies ("model policies") on the adopting agencies' website.
The following are the Airport Police Department's adopted Required Agency Policies. Per MN POST Board Rules, the adopted policies must be identical or substantially similar to the approved model policies.
Many human trafficking victims pass through airports headed to lives of unpaid labor or forced prostitution.
Click here to learn more about MSP's continued efforts to helping prevent human trafficking.
Relationships are key to providing quality service to all people in our airport community. Through events and crime prevention programs for citizens, philanthropic partnerships, and direct outreach efforts, the Airport Police Department works to build positive relationships with community members.
The APD is committed to serving and engaging with community members through events and other relationship-building opportunities. If you are a community organization that would like to work with the APD, please contact email@example.com.
The department's mascot, Officer Blue, is a great goodwill ambassador for MSP's smallest travelers. He helps to build and strengthen relationships between the public and the law enforcement community through his approachable presence. Look for Blue at both law enforcement and other airport events.
Like the community version of the event, MSP's Night to Unite is designed to heighten awareness of crime and drug activities, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime fighting programs, and strengthen police partnerships with the airport community. MSP's public safety division coordinates this annual event, which gives officers an opportunity to interact with the traveling public and discuss their role as an integral part of airport safety. All airport employees and the traveling public are invited to attend and learn more about the airport's public safety operations.
Similar to a neighborhood watch program, MSP Airport Watch calls upon its members to be the extra set of "eyes and ears" when out visiting areas near the perimeter of the airport campus. These locations typically include the area used by dog owners off 28th Avenue behind the Metropolitan Airports Commission's executive offices, the Cell Phone Lots on Post Road where aviation buffs like to spend time watching airplanes take off and land, and other non-public locations that were closed to the public after 9/11.
The program's objective is to identify and deter criminal activity at MSP. Effective crime prevention requires a proactive approach to anticipating risks and dealing with them immediately. Typically, most crimes occur when the opportunity is present and the risk of getting caught is low. MSP Airport Watch seeks to employ crime prevention tactics designed to significantly reduce the opportunity and increase the risk of getting caught, thereby reducing overall crime.
What do members do?
Being a member does not require much dedicated time. Many are aviation enthusiasts and/or aviation photographers and already spend time at the airport. Others may be dog owners who already visit airport property regularly. However, anyone with an interest in helping to deter and prevent crime around the airport is welcome to apply.
When a member is on airport property and observes atypical or unusual activities, they report as much information as possible without approaching the situation. The MSP Emergency Communications Center (ECC) will summon the appropriate assistance. Members also attend a monthly meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of each month to receive updates and training.
Anyone interested in becoming an MSP Airport Watch member is required to complete an application and undergo a background check. Members must also:
- Be Minnesota residents 18 years of age or older
- Submit a written application (available when you inquire)
- Consent to an initial background check that includes being fingerprinted
- Have a photo taken for an identification card
- Have a cell phone available to use
- Attend a training class on safety and report activity when on the airport campus
- Apply for membership renewal annually (including an updated background check and photo ID)
- When on the airport campus, wear a program shirt, jacket, or vest and display your ID card and auto dashboard placard
- Adhere to program rules and guidelines
Contact MSP Airport Watch
Contact the MSP Airport Police Department for more information about becoming a member: firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-726-5115.
MSP Airport Watch Brochure
Download the brochure here: MSP Airport Watch Brochure
The Airport Police Department values opportunities to raise funds and awareness to support important causes in our community. Working with key airport stakeholders, the department hosts and participates in key events each year.
The APD plans and coordinates MSP's annual Plane Pull, which raises money for Special Olympics Minnesota in a very unique way. Teams compete to see who can pull a Delta Air Lines jet 25 feet in the shortest time. The entry fee is a fundraising minimum of $1,000. This event is open to the public and also features activities for kids, including a much smaller plane they can pull themselves.
The Pink Patch Project is a collaborative effort among numerous public safety agencies around the nation to increase awareness about the life-saving benefits of early detection and intervention in the fight against breast cancer.
The MSP Airport Police Department has joined the cause by designing a special uniform patch. Department members wear these patches during the month of October and they will also be available for purchase by the public from October 1 to 31 annually. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.
Airport police officers must meet these minimum requirements:*
- No felony convictions as defined by Minnesota State Statutes
- Must be licensed or eligible for licensure as a peace officer by the state of Minnesota
- Medically, physically, and psychologically fit to perform required job duties
- A valid, state-issued driver's license
- Demonstrated ability to interact and communicate effectively with the public
- Demonstrated strong verbal and written skills
- Ability to complete an intensive, multi-month classroom and field training program
The Airport Police Department provides its officers with extensive training opportunities to ensure they’re equipped to work in MSP’s dynamic airport environment. Certain divisions also received specialized training to meet the unique demands of their job duties. Training topics include:
- Crisis intervention/De-escalation
- Use of force
- Active shooter
- Riot control
- Criminal and traffic law updates
- Hazardous materials response
- First aid
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Tire deflation devices for vehicle pursuits
- Terrorism and counter-terrorism
- Vehicle pursuits
- Incident command and multi-agency response
- Interviewing and interrogation
Salaries are commensurate with experience. All new officers also receive a duty weapon, a uniform, body armor reimbursement, and an annual uniform allowance. Officers also have the opportunity to exercise while on duty in the department's gym.
- Pay ranging from $40.54 to $56.81 per hour, depending on experience
- 15-29 vacation days per year based on years of service
- $1,105 annual uniform allowance
- PERA Police & Fire pension plan
- Medical, dental, and life insurance plans
- Deferred compensation plans
- Recurring corporate, state, and federal grants provide plentiful overtime opportunities.
- Unique career advancement and training opportunities in investigations, aviation investigations and security, narcotics, canine handling, SWAT, drone security, bike patrol and response, and more
- Opportunity to collaborate and serve on joint task forces with the FBI, DEA, and other federal, state, and regional partners
*Subject to change
Officer employment opportunities for the MSP Airport Police Department (APD) are posted on the Minnesota POST Board website and the Metropolitan Airports Commission's (MAC) website when openings are available. All police officer applicants must meet Minnesota POST Board requirements by date of hire.
Community Service Officer positions and other civilian positions within the department are posted on the MAC's website when they are active.
Sign up to receive updates when law enforcement or public safety positions are posted to this site by clicking here.
You can also click here to download a flyer for printing and sharing.
Interested in a career in law enforcement?
Visit the Discover Policing career website, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which outlines expectations and processes of the law enforcement field. To learn how to become a police officer in Minnesota, visit this website.
Preparing for a career in law enforcement
It is never too early or too late to prepare for a career in law enforcement.
Remember, you will need to submit to a comprehensive background check. As it isn’t uncommon for more than 400 applicants to apply to an open police officer position, it is imperative to show integrity.
- Alcohol and drug abuse: Using illegal drugs could hurt your chances of becoming a police officer. If you are planning a career in law enforcement, consider the consequences of drug and alcohol use. While drug and alcohol use is not an automatic disqualification, it can be considered at the discretion of the chief of police in hiring decisions.
- Juvenile crimes: The activities you participate in as a juvenile could affect your employment opportunities. Juvenile criminal records will be evaluated in a case-by-case manner. To be the best police officer candidate, it is important you not participate in criminal activities, or stop participating if you already are and become a law-abiding, productive citizen of your community.
- Employment history: How you conduct yourself at other jobs and places of employment is considered as part of the application process. Act with integrity at your job and work well with your co-workers and management. While you may not enjoy working with everyone, committing to acting professionally in all circumstances at work can help earn you the respect of your co-workers and supervisors. Remember, police officers communicate with people from all walks of life and must always maintain a professional demeanor. You can develop these essential communication skills at every job.
- Credit history: A check of your credit history is conducted as a part of your background investigation. Be responsible with your finances. Pay your bills on time and do not amass a large amount of debt in relation to your income. It can be seen as being irresponsible and also affects your credit score. If you have a low credit score, take steps to illustrate you are responsible enough to rectify the situation. It is wise to check your credit history with the three major credit agencies to ensure the information is correct. (You can contact a credible nonprofit, consumer credit counseling service to help you manage your debt.)
- Education: Though you only need a two-year degree to become POST-certified in the state of Minnesota, getting a four-year degree can boost your chances of being hired.
- Physical fitness: Prepare for the physical demands of your career by keeping yourself physically fit. You must pass a physical exam to move forward in the hiring process.
- Know the job: Learn what it's really like to be a police officer. (Movies aren't real life!) Understanding the realities of police work will help you make the right decision.
- Know the department: Though all law enforcement agencies perform similar duties, each agency is unique. Learn more about the federal, state, county, or local law enforcement agency you are interested in to be certain it is the right fit for you.
Explore the world of aviation policing and jumpstart your career at MSP! The Airport Police Department’s cadet program provides an opportunity for aspiring law enforcement officers to obtain an associate degree while getting on-the-job experience working at MSP Airport. Cadets will attend an approved Professional Peace Officers Education (PPOE) program and work a flexible, part-time schedule as uniformed, non-sworn airport employees.
Job duties include providing traffic direction, enforcing parking regulations, and providing customer service to the public while interacting professionally and appropriately as a representative of the Airport Police Department.
Upon the successful completion of the cadet program the interest is to hire officers onto the MSP Airport Police Department.
Cadet program benefits
Up to $20,000 financial scholarship for a two-year post-secondary degree
Hourly wage of $25.012-$34.525/hour
Annual vacation bank
Coordinated public employee pension
Medical, dental and vision insurance
Wellness program, including paid incentives and well-being time
High school diploma or equivalent
Able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week while attending school and 40 hours per week in the summer
Able to be accepted and enrolled in a two-year Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-certified Professional Peace Officer Education (PPOE) program
Pass a background investigation, a psychological assessment, a medical examination and be able to obtain a MAC badge
How to apply
Be among the first to apply to this unique law enforcement training program. Cadet positions are posted on the MAC's website when they are active. Sign up to receive updates when law enforcement or public safety positions are posted to this site by clicking here.
With more than 190 full-time employees, the Airport Police Department (APD) has many specialized divisions to support a safe and secure environment in and around the airport. These functions also include 11 canine handlers throughout the department with unique duties. From uniform patrol officers and investigators to roles specific to aviation policing, explore the various divisions of the APD.
Police Operations is the largest functional area and the core of the APD. In addition to uniformed patrol, the staff in this area perform various duties to prevent crime, protect life and property, and preserve peace, order, and safety. A deputy chief of police directs the work in three primary divisions in this area: Patrol, Special Operations and Investigations, and Aviation Security.
Uniformed officers in the Patrol Division are assigned to one of several shifts, consisting of either 10- or 12-hour days. Coverage is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patrol officers serve as first responders to calls related to thefts, injury accidents, medical issues, disorderly conduct, and security violations. They also conduct criminal investigations and perform traffic enforcement duties. A lieutenant manages the patrol operation and is supported by sergeants who are responsible for leading and supervising the various patrol shifts.
In addition, approximately 100 full-time and 30 part-time employees provide foot patrol near the security checkpoints in the terminals. Retired police officers find this position gives them the ability to continue serving the public on a part-time basis.
Community Service Officers (CSOs) are civilian staff who monitor compliance with federal security directives prohibiting parked and unattended vehicles on the roadways in front of both terminals. The MAC’s “no-waiting” ordinance is enforced to allow everyone to utilize the curb space for loading and unloading luggage. CSOs also assist with oversized or disabled vehicles, perform perimeter checks, transport and set up equipment for special details, release vehicle impounds, book suspects, and other tasks. This program was created in 1988 and is run by a sergeant with lead CSOs providing daily work direction. Many CSOs are pursuing a career in law enforcement. There are approximately 30 CSOs who work a variety of shifts and hours.
A lieutenant directs this division, ensuring MSP Airport complies with federal, state, and local regulations related to safety and security.
The division is comprised of the Explosive Detection Canine (EDC K-9) Units, Emergency Response Team (ERT), Tactical Negotiations Team (TNT), Honor Guard, and the Airport Watch Program. Detectives and officers investigate suspicious activity and security violations, such as presenting false identification when applying for a badge, attempting to bring weapons or other prohibited items through a checkpoint, and non-compliance with MSP Airport’s security ordinance. They also conduct vulnerability assessments, participate in counter-terrorism activities, take action to ensure security compliance, work with airport tenants on safety and security issues, and facilitate improvements.
A detective from this division is assigned to serve on one of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs). Joint Terrorism Task Forces are our nation’s front line of defense against terrorism, both international and domestic, and they are comprised of groups of highly trained, locally based, passionately committed investigators, analysts, linguists, and other specialists from dozens of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Sergeants are responsible for leading the detectives and officers in the day-to-day activities, managing contract security services operations and personnel, and coordinating all special events to include dignitary details.
The Explosives Detection K-9 unit is comprised of several officers and a sergeant; each teamed up with a canine trained in explosives detection. Before becoming a certified team, canines and handlers complete many months of training, including training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The unit is certified by one or more of the following: the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program (NEDCTP), the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), and/or the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA). The K9 Teams patrol the jurisdiction of the MSP Airport and respond to suspicious items and vehicles to ensure there are no improvised explosive devices present. The K9 Teams regularly assist other state, local, and federal agencies with dignitary details, venue sweeps, and bomb threats. The unit is recognized as a regional resource and can travel throughout the state to provide trained and certified explosives detection canines for various situations.
Aviation Security Division and Badging Office
The Airport Badging Office and Aviation Security Division are administrative divisions of the APD. Together, they are responsible for issuing Airport Identification Badges to employees who work and require access to security-sensitive areas of MSP for their official job duties. Other responsibilities include access control, physical security, and regulatory compliance. The civilian Airport Security Coordinator (ASC) is responsible for updating the airport security plan and ensuring all airport employees, tenants, contractors, and vendors comply with the federal security directives in place to promote the safety and security of the airport.
The ASC manages the Airport Badging Office, which provides badge issuance, document verification, database and records administration, security training, financial transactions and reconciliation, and fingerprinting to approximately 21,000 airport identification badge holders.
The Badging Office is located on Level 3 between the Red and Blue Parking Ramps at Terminal 1. For more information about badging policies and procedures and current badging office hours, visit www.mymspconnect.com/badging.
A deputy chief of police is responsible for the functions of four primary divisions in this area: Professional Standards and Training, Criminal Investigations, Emergency Communications, and Administration. Each of these divisions performs distinct functions.
Professional Standards and Training Division
This division is directed by a lieutenant who manages department policy creation and updates, staff recruitment, background investigations of candidates for public safety positions, planning and oversight of department training, and coordination of the Field Training Officer (FTO) program. Additionally, staff in this division are responsible for managing the airport’s Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) system, which enhances security and assists in resolving law enforcement issues.
A lieutenant manages this division and oversees general, aviation and regulatory, and narcotic investigations. A sergeant is responsible for leading the day-to-day activities of the detectives who work in one of these three areas and oversees the alcohol/tobacco compliance check program. The lieutenant is also responsible for Internal Affairs, which involves investigating incidents and plausible suspicions of professional misconduct attributed to officers on the force.
The General Investigations group is responsible for most criminal investigations within the Investigations Division. The general investigations detectives handle all levels of crimes, from misdemeanors to felonies. Detectives work on cases ranging from property and theft crimes to crimes against persons and homicide. Detectives collaborate with officers and attorneys to successfully prosecute crimes committed at MSP. They also liaise with crime victims to keep them informed of the criminal process. These detectives often work with other agencies to solve crimes committed at the airport and, when possible, provide evidence to help solve crimes committed in other jurisdictions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes federal cases. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office prosecutes felony-level cases, criminal sexual conduct cases, and juvenile cases. Chestnut Cambronne Attorneys at Law prosecute gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and petty misdemeanor cases.
The Aviation and Regulatory Investigations group is a specialized investigations group. Aviation detectives perform investigations like other detectives, with the added responsibility of monitoring and testing the airport’s security measures. Aviation detectives work closely with other agencies and federal partners to deter and detect threats to the airport, which could include terrorism and insider threats. These detectives also handle a large majority of cases that involve airport employees as the subjects. Aviation detectives also complete many proactive details throughout the year to continuously deter threats of crime and terrorism.
The APD’s Narcotics Unit is comprised of a team of investigators and canines highly dedicated to disrupting the flow of narcotics into the Upper Midwest by focusing on the importation of narcotics through the transportation sector, specifically air travel, and parcels. They work diligently to extend their investigations beyond the initial seizure by working closely with other local, state, and federal drug task forces. Detectives in the narcotics unit have removed thousands of pounds of illegal narcotics from the streets and have seized millions of dollars in proceeds from the sale of illegal narcotics. In 2022, this unit won the National Award for Interdiction, reflecting the unit’s work to interrupt the flow of narcotics through the airport. Two canine (K-9) teams assist with the unit’s interdiction efforts. These narcotics detection K-9 teams are among the top in the nation. In addition, the K-9 teams assist with school searches, traffic stops, search warrants, and requests for assistance from other law enforcement agencies.
Emergency Communications Division
The airport's Emergency Communication Center (ECC) is one of 17 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in the Twin Cities' nine-county metropolitan area that receives 911 calls or transfers calls to other public safety agencies. It operates 24/7 to respond to calls made on the airport's campus and surrounding area, and dispatches public safety services as needed. The ECC is responsible for monitoring a variety of systems such as fire protection, secure card access, perimeter security, and more than 3,000 security cameras.
The ECC is staffed by professional emergency communication specialists who come with a variety of backgrounds and public safety experience. Following national training standards, the ECC conducts a comprehensive 22-week on-the-job training program for new hires, which may be tailored to meet the needs of each candidate's experience level.
The ECC is a unique PSAP in that it serves an airport community with an ever-changing population of travelers, as well as airport tenants and Metropolitan Airports Commission employees. As there is a strong focus on aviation security, the ECC also works closely with various federal agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Center for Disease Control, FBI, and the Secret Service.
Visit the ECC page to learn more - Emergency Communications Center/Dispatch.
The APD’s administration division provides shared services for the department, such as records management and property and evidence intake and storage. Staff submit data to the State of Minnesota courts system, provide prosecuting and defense attorneys with the requested information, research and report statistics, respond to requests for law enforcement data, and handle the archival, retention, purging, and release of public information.
A civilian property and evidence technician is responsible for the intake, storage, and disposition of all property and evidence for the department until it is returned to the rightful owner or is deemed ready for disposal. The technician ensures that the chain of custody is properly maintained so the integrity of the evidence is not compromised.
Non-Emergency/File a Police Report
Airport Police Administration
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., M-F
Public Data/Report Requests
Download an Information Disclosure Request form to request reports or data from the police department. Email completed forms to APDRequest@mspmac.org. Call 612-726-5115 with questions.
Email AirportPDrecruiting@mspmac.org to request information about working for MSP's Airport Police Department.