If you’re looking for a law enforcement career in Texas, you should first start by asking yourself which community you’d like to live in and whether or not you have personal or family ties to the people there. Right off the bat, you’ll have some “skin in the game” because you most likely want to protect and serve. It does little good if you are not motivated by something that drives you; service, be it to your local community or a community that’s far away from requires some due diligence, so take your time, conduct a little research with Google. search, and find a great Texas town that you’d be willing to protect with your own life. You should also ask yourself lots of questions and make a well informed decision before beginning your journey.
- Are you looking to work in a metropolitan city?
- Do you prefer to work in a small town?
- What specific type of police work are you interested in?
- Will policing your community give you a strong sense of satisfaction?
- Can I meet the tough selection criteria?
- Am I willing to move around for promotions?
- Are my community relationships strong enough for me to make the ultimate sacrifice?
There are a few options when looking for police officer jobs that you may want to consider. You may decide to work for one of the following agencies; but be prepared for a lengthy recruitment process as these agencies are very careful when hiring their staff:
- Universities and colleges
- Independent school districts
- Federal detention facilities
For a complete list of agencies for each category listed above see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_agencies_in_Texas Getting a general idea of which direction you would like to go in will help you to make a decision that is right for you.
You will find there are various jobs available for police work in the state of Texas. Some jobs are also available in University campuses. The following list will give you an idea of the various departments looking for police officer positions to be filled. Typically, your work relevance is critical when applying to these jobs. Make sure you include all of your training and experience in your resume when applying for these positions as it critical to making sure that you’re competitive with the other candidates.
– Arlington Police Department: If you’re interested in the Arlington area, the Police Department there has a tremendous recruiting department. Check out http://www.arlington-tx.gov/police for more information.
– Beaumont Police Department.
– Burleson Police Dept: Burleson is a quaint little town just South of Fort Worth. A very easy commute for those living in the DFW metroplex. The Burleson leadership announces their jobs at the following site: http://burlesontx.com/index.aspx?nid=164
– Carrollton Police Department: Carrollton is an easy drive from the DFW metroplex (just off of I35E) and sports a very nice, family community. They are very selective of who they recruit into their police department, but a little persistence goes a very long way.
– Cedar Hill Police Department: We really liked their “jobs” site because you can sign up for notifications when jobs are posted on their site. This means you don’t have to come back and keep checking.
– City of Highland Park: The link to the left is where all police jobs are posted.
– City of Houston: Houston Police Department’s Career Page
– City of Roanoke: The Roanoke web site does a great job of explaining what the physical requirements are to becoming a police officer. Here are the highlights: You have to be able to run 1.5 miles in 16 minutes and 28 seconds. You have to do a 300 meter sprint in 1 minute and 11 seconds. In addition, you have to do 29 situps in 1 minute, and 25 pushups without a time limit. You just have to complete the 25 pushups. If interested click the recruiting area of their site.
– Collin County – Pct 3 Constable Office: Otherwise known as Plano Police Department; this is an outstanding location to protect and serve.
– Comal County – Pct 4 Constable Office: In Comal County, finding out where to apply for a police job is a bit of a challenge. You’ve got to go here: http://comalcounty.iapplicants.com/ to make the application. Once their, check out their job listings and apply right on line.
– Corpus Christi Police Department
– Dallas County – Pct 8 Constable Office
– Dallas Police Department
– De Soto Police Dept
– Duncanville Police Department
– Fairview Police Department
– Frisco Police Department
– Fort Worth Police Department: Fort Worth also has a very good recruiting department. You can apply online at: http://fortworthtexas.gov/hr/PoliceRecruitment/
– Grapevine Police Department
– Highland Village Police Department
– Irving Police Department
– Lubbock County Detention Center
– McKinney Police Department
– Mesquite Police Department
– Mineral Wells Police Department
– North Richland Hills Police Department
– Port Aransas Police Department
– Rockport Police Department
– San Angelo Police Department
– University of Texas at El Paso
Highest paying locations for police in Texas
When considering good police jobs in Texas, you should also look into salaries that are at or above above $50,000 a year unless you are able to handle lower pay. You can find some locations will offer less yearly while other will offer more. The maximum yearly salary estimate for police officers as well as senior police officers averages out to approximately $71,689; this is based on the following high paying Texas locations as determined by the State Auditor’s Office Law Enforcement Survey of April 2010:
- Austin – $89,983
- Fort Worth – $79,851
- Dallas – $74,837
- Harris County – $73,366
- San Antonio – $66,828
- El Paso – $60,763
- Houston – 59,192
Dear Park, Texas, considered the birthplace of the friendly state also offers salaries that are above $50,000 a year. Salaries in Deer Park range from $53,040.00 – $58,302.40 starting range.
How to qualify as a police officer in Texas
The following will help you prepare by giving you a general idea of what qualifications are required. Take time also to research the specific police department you are interested. You will find that each department will have their own requirements to qualify you as a police officer. Speaking with the police chief is also a good idea if he or she can find time to fit you into their busy schedules. It is essential to understand what a police officer is expected to do. You will need to understand criminal justice. There are some departments that will require that you at least have two years of college in criminal justice. In some cases departments may require an Associate’s degree in either law enforcement or criminal justice.
You will find that an associate’s degree will also involve areas of study in state and local governments, understanding how the criminal court system operates, understand crime investigation and learn about law enforcement leadership. You may also aspire to gain a bachelor’s degree to increase your understanding in law enforcement. Gaining a bachelor’s degree will require further classes in social sciences, civil law, understanding methods of research when it comes to criminal justice and law enforcement management. Regardless of your choice of obtaining an associate or bachelor’s degree, it is important for you to understand that even an associate’s degree will help you have a better opportunity at attaining a higher paying job. Additional training specific to your job as a police officer will come from the peace or police academy that you attend. In the academy you will be trained in police knowledge, proper procedures and techniques. In order to be permitted into the police academy you must meet additional basic requirements, again each police department may vary but for the most part the following basic information applies:
- You must be 21 years of age for employment in Texas as a law enforcement officer
- Be in good physical fit condition
- Be ready to undergo psychological and personal examinations
- Pass written exams
- Undergo criminal background check
- Be trained on police law enforcement techniques
The police academy training requires that you be physically fit in order to pass tough physical training. As mentioned above you must be in good physical condition in order to be accepted into the police academy. In addition, once you complete the training you will have to be in good health to be qualified as a police officer. Police officers are required to be physically fit enough to run. Running is something a police officer must do especially when being pursuit on foot. Endurance is an essential requirement that you will be tested on. Strength is also a fitness requirement that you will be tested for. You will need to be able to do chest pulls and back pulls. These are conducted in order to measure your strength. You may consider building strength on your own prior to looking into joining the police academy. You will have more than one opportunity to pass the test but may be limited to three tries.
Job Outlook For Police Officers in Texas
As baby boomers begin to retire, the outlook for police officers is really good. While you may not find a job in the exact location you prefer, we recommend you take a job where you can find one, and wait for your preferred location. There’s high turnover in the police arena, so your location should spring open sooner or later… While you wait though, you should continue developing your skills through off duty education and specialized courses. This will make you much more competitive when a job opens up in your location of choice. Military police who are either completed with their military careers or retired from service will find themselves very competitive in Texas as most precincts love to hire ex-vets. In addition, jobs along the Texas border are increasing as the US tightens up on border security. Too many illegal aliens are crossing the Texas border and there has been a strong push to tighten security in an effort to lower the unemployment rate in America. This fact presents an opportunity for law enforcement officers to secure a high paying job in southern Texas. You will also find that airport police jobs are in high demand as airport security is increased through the Department of Homeland security. Airport police are typically compensated equal to or higher than city police.
What To Expect On The Job
Here are some basic things that you may be involved in as police officer during your course of service:
- Investigations of accidents, criminal activity and complaints brought by citizens
- Gathering necessary evidence, making proper pursuit and arrest
- Responsible for interviewing offender that are suspect of a crime(s)
- Prosecution against organized crime that deals with both corporate and crimes committed by virtual means using a computer, the trafficking of illegal substances as well as dealing with terrorist attacks, fraudulent and counterfeit crimes
- Being responsible to secure and provide adequate examination or crime scenes as well as accident sites to find evidence to be used in proper analysis
- Helping to maintain order and providing public safety – law enforcement is vital to safe neighborhoods
- Providing vehicle traffic control when needed in congested areas
- Called upon to attend meeting within your given community to answer questions the public may have
- Be in an advisory position to help victims and their families who have been victimized by a crime
- Maintain proper records and prepare reports
Finding the right job that provides adequate pay, being prepared physically, understanding what you are expected to do, and how to qualify can lead you to a successful future in police work. In addition, having the right attitude to serve a specific community you are interested in and having a desire to protect both citizens and their property will help you to serve a proud police force in the state of Texas.
If you don’t think policing is your cup of tea, then check out our related article on Texas oil field jobs at: http://tex.org/oil-field-jobs-in-texas/.