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Rider's Almanac Blog

Behind the Badge

Behind the Badge: Erika Hatle

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, September 28, 2023 10:39:00 AM

Police Officer Erika Hatle in a squad car.


How did you get into law enforcement?

I grew up on the west side of Saint Paul and originally went to school to become a vet. I had a change of heart when I saw my older brother get sworn-in as a Minneapolis police officer. I’ve always looked up to him and wanted to follow in his footsteps. So, I went back to school and earned a degree in criminal justice from Metro State University. My first jobs in law enforcement were with the Minnesota State Fair and Saint Paul police departments. My brother worked as a part-time officer at Metro Transit and encouraged me to apply. I came here in 2013 as part of a pretty large group (19 recruits) and was one of just two women in the class.

What has your experience been like at Metro Transit?

I started as a patrol officer and worked on the Blue and Green lines, both during the day and overnight. A few years into my career I was recognized for making more arrests than anyone else on the department, which was largely a result of being out there and being really proactive. About three years ago I joined the training unit, which I absolutely love. I teach firearms, Taser, CPR, and have become a certified backgrounds investigator moving applicants through the background process. I especially enjoy teaching recruits coming through our academies. I try to be a role model for our new officers because I was in their shoes once.  

Why would you encourage others to work here?

There’s a strong sense of belonging. We’re a tightknit department where you can get to know everyone and it really feels like family. There are also a lot of different opportunities you can explore, whether that’s getting involved with a specialized unit or patrolling different parts of our coverage area.

We're hiring! 

We are continuously accepting applications for full-time police officers (including lateral officers) and Community Service Officers. New officers are eligible for $4,000 hiring bonuses and start at $35/hour. Community Service Officers can receive up to $18,000 in tuition reimbursement. Learn more at

Read more Behind the Badge Q&As

Learn more about our participation in the 30x30 initiative, a commitment to recruiting more female officers