Ask A Trooper: How do you address a police officer?
Question: What is the proper way to address a patrol officer, if the rank is unknown?
Answer: This is a good question and really depends on the law enforcement organization. Here are the ways to address a law enforcement member from each organization below if you're uncertain of their rank:
• State Patrol — trooper
• Local/Municipal Agency — officer
• Sheriff's Office — deputy
• Department of Natural Resources — officer
With the Minnesota State Patrol, the colonel leads the organization, followed by the lieutenant colonel. The command staff is further filled out with majors, captains, lieutenants and sergeants. The troopers are the first rank and make up the largest contingent in the organization.
A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow — Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, firstname.lastname@example.org).