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How To Become A Police Officer In Houston Texas

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Minimum Requirements For Law Enforcement Training In Texas

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To be eligible for law enforcement training in Texas, candidates must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen, never convicted of any family violence offense and not prohibited from driving a motor vehicle or carrying a firearm
  • Not currently be charged with a criminal offense which, if convicted, would bar being licensed, never have been on court-ordered community supervision or probation for a Class B misdemeanor or above within the last 10 years from the date of the court order, and never have been convicted of a Class B misdemeanor or above within the last 10 years
  • Have a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate or an honorable discharge from the armed forces of the United States with at least 24 months of active duty service
  • Be physically fit to perform all the duties of a peace officer, declared in writing by a medical professional, show no evidence of drug use or dependency after a physical examination, blood test or other medical test and declared in writing by a medical professional to be in satisfactory psychological or emotional health.
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    How To Become A Police Officer: Your Step

    There are plenty of Hollywood movies out there that detail the rigorous physical training involved in becoming a cop. You might even be able to picture the obstacle courses, shooting ranges and tactical scenario training rooms. These are all important elements of police officer trainingbut they only make up one portion of the process.

    Given the high level of responsibility and trust afforded to law enforcement, the standards for becoming a police officer are higher than what youll likely find in many careers. The specific standards and process will vary slightly based on the state, county or town youre applying to work in, but there are a few universal requirements to become a police officer you should be familiar with.

    If youre wondering how to become a police officer, youre in the right place. Keep reading for a high-level breakdown of the path to pursuing a career in law enforcement.

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    What Is The Salary For Police Officers In Texas

    The national mean salary for police officers is $70,000 annually and an entry level police officer in Texas can make as high as $81,742 annually. The highest paying cities in Texas are Pearland , Dallas , and Houston .

    The regions in Texas with the largest police departments and which will likely see the biggest growth over the next few years include:

    Houston Police Officer Salary And Job Outlook

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    According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for police officers in Houston is $61,030.1 The base salary for a cadet with the Houston Police Department is $42,000 per year, which rises to $53,369 per year upon promotion to the position of police officer.2 Salaries can be higher for officers who hold a college degree and qualify for education incentives. Officers receive annual step increases based on longevity and may also qualify for higher salary tiers by achieving promotion to the position of senior police officer or to supervisory ranks. All officers are eligible for paid time off, health insurance benefits, and retirement plans. About 15,800 police officers worked in the Houston area as of 2015.1

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    Texas Sheriff Deputy Requirements

    Texas has 254 counties and each county elects a sheriff. The county sheriff is responsible for the county jail, court security, bail bonds, and civil process. Sheriffs deputies must meet the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement minimum requirements for law enforcement officers. The Sheriffs Association of Texas Training is responsible for training and certifying sworn officers who will be working for sheriffs offices in Texas.

    Police Departments In Texas

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 63,000 police officers working in Texas as of 2017, making this the state with the second-highest number of police and sheriffs patrol officers in the US.4 The metro area of Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land has the fourth-highest employment level of police officers in the US, with over 16,600 officers in 2017.4 The Dallas-Plano-Irving metro ranked seventh, with over 10,600 officers.4

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    A Career In Texas Law Enforcement

    Do you have what it takes to become a Houston police officer?

    Peace Officers, Jailers and Telecommunicators

    In order to become licensed as a peace officer, county jailer, or telecommunicator in Texas there are four requirements:

  • successful completion of the basic licensing course
  • passing of the state licensing examination and
  • appointment by a law enforcement agency
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    Application Process To Become A Police Officer In Texas

    If you have met the minimum education requirements and qualifications, you will go through a rigorous application process, designed to only accept those who can handle the pressures of law enforcement. A Texas peace officer application includes:

    1. Physical exam

    The first step to becoming a police officer in Texas is a physical exam to ensure applicants are physically fit enough for this demanding job. Applicants will go through a fitness test including drills like running 1.5 miles within a certain time, a minimum number of push ups or sit ups within 1 minute, and scaling walls of various heights. The tests will vary according to the police department.

    2. Drug test

    Once the physical exam is passed, applicants undergo drug testing to make sure there are no drug dependencies.

    3. Psychological examination

    Candidates then go through a psychological examination to ensure they are able to handle the stress and pressure that is prevalent in a career in law enforcement.

    4. Health assessment

    Candidates must also have a clean bill of health, including good eyesight and hearing in order to proceed to the next round.

    5. Background check

    An extensive background check will also be done, which includes fingerprinting and comparison with the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Anything suspicious found in this background check will result in immediate denial.

    6. Written examination

    7. Interview

    8. Job offer

    Academy Cost Dates And Location

    • Dates: The Citizens Police Academy is usually held twice a year and involves a 33-hour block of instruction, consisting of a three and 1/2 hour class, every week for 10 weeks. The times of the class are usually 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    • Fall Session:
    • Tuesday Class: September 13-November 15, 2022
    • Graduation for both classes will be Thursday, November 17.
    • Spring Session:
    • Start Accepting Applications: December 12, 2021
    • Tuesday Class: March 22 – May 24, 2022
    • Graduation will be: May 26, 2022
    • Location: Houston Police Department Academy, 17000 Aldine Westfield 77073

    You are disqualified from joining the Citizens Police Academy if any of the following apply. The following are also grounds for dismissal from the program once you are approved.

    • Criminal Offenses:
      • Three or more traffic violations during the last eighteen months.
      • Felony or Class A Misdemeanor conviction .
      • Class B Misdemeanor in the past ten years .
      • Family Violence offense conviction.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About A Police Officer Salaries

    The average salary for a Police Officer is US$54,681 per year in San Antonio, TX, United States Area. Salaries estimates are based on 26 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by a Police Officer employees in San Antonio, TX, United States Area.

    The highest salary for a Police Officer in San Antonio, TX, United States Area is US$75,154 per year.

    The lowest salary for a Police Officer in San Antonio, TX, United States Area is US$39,784 per year.

    Work And Basic Training Requirements

    Houston Police Chief Says He

    Work HistoryApplicant must have honorably served as a sworn full time paid peace officer for 2 continuous years within the 4 years prior to application. Service time applied to this section must have been obtained following completion of a state POST approved basic training course.

    Training RequirementsTCOLE uses the number of hours in our basic peace officer training course to determine the minimum amount of hours for equivalency. The chart below identifies the hourly requirements.

    Before individuals with federal credentials or out-of-state license may attempt the licensing exam, they must meet all of the statutory licensing requirements of the State of Texas and the rules of the Commission

    U.S. citizenship is a requirement to be licensed as a peace officer in Texas. )

    All applicants will be subject to a search through the National Decertification Database , NCIC/TCIC, and National Criminal History Databases to establish eligibility.

    Qualifying Federal Departments

    The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, § 2.122, recognizes specific criminal investigators of the United States as having authority to enforce selected state laws by virtue of their authority. Prior training will be evaluated and approved by the Commission to insure it meets current training requirements.

    Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Special Agents of the Secret Service

    Special Agents of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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    Education And Military Requirements

    If you are between 18 and 20 years of age, you must have an associates degree or at least 60 hours worth of credits from an accredited college or university. Usually, candidates will take courses related to law enforcement such as criminal justice, sociology or psychology to give them an edge in this competitive field.

    If you do not meet the education requirements, you can substitute college credit with military service however, you must have received an honorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces after at least 2 years of active service.

    For those who are 21 years of age or older, college credit or military service is not required.

    Glassdoor Economist Pay Overview

    Job opportunities in military and protective services depend heavily on government budgets that may not be flexible. Pay scales rely heavily on time in service and are less-performance based, but public sector benefits can be attractive. Protective services roles are also an opportunity for veterans looking to transition into civilian roles. Education requirements in military and protective services vary, though many jobs don’t require a Bachelor’s degree.

    The average salary for a Police officer in US is $61,935 per year based on 4,872 salary contributions, which is 4.13% more than the salary for a Police officer in Houston, TX. The cost of living and the local demand for the work are among the factors affecting wages. The top 3 companies in US where a Police officer gets the highest compensation are Central Intelligence Agency, City of Los Angeles and National Guard Bureau. Bigger companies typically pay 4.92% less than smaller companies for a Police officer.

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    Get Accepted & Paying Your Way

    Admission requirements can vary widely depending on the type of program and institution offering it. Another consideration is how to pay for this education and training. During your application process, keep the following pointers in the back of your mind to help you get into the best program to meet your needs and goals as a future police officer.

    Entrance requirements

    Entry into various degree programs in law enforcement will all require some general points, such as completing an application, paying an application fee and presenting proof of high school graduation.

    The associate degree program might require:

    • A personal statement
    • Transcripts from any other college courses taken

    The bachelors degree might require additional information:

    • An essay
    • Transcripts from associate degree work
    • Completion of certain prerequisites
    • A resume of related experience

    Application process & fees

    Paying for Your Program

    How much a training or educational program costs depends greatly upon the degree level you want to obtain. For instance, obtaining an associate degree will cost much less than a bachelors degree will. To learn more about financial aid options and how those will affect your financial bottom line, visit our online financial aid handbook:

    Step 4

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    Pass The Post Exam & Become A Police Officer

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    In order to work as a police officer, aspiring applicants must pass the Peace Officer Standards and Training or Police Officer Standards and Training exam. Commonly known as the POST exam, this is required for each state except Hawaii . Each state has subtle differences in their testing procedure, requirements, and the test itself, so its important to do in-depth research on the test your particular state requires.

    Examsfor police officers include not only the POST written examination which includes an evaluation of grammar, reading comprehension, andwriting but other points as well, such as physical agility,medical health, psychological fitness, background review, and an oralinterview. Some states might add other requirements, such as apolygraph test. Once these tests are satisfactorily passed, graduatesare ready to work as police officers. The procedure it takes to getfrom passing the tests to wearing the badge depends on the state andin some cases, the department itself.

    Step 6

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    Mental Health Officer Training

    • Upcoming Classes
    • All classes have been temporarily cancelled due to the recent changes made by TCOLE. When the new curriculum has been updated, we will begin offering classes again.

    The purpose of the Mental Health Officer course is to further inform and educate the officer in the area of mental health and issues pertaining to serving as a mental health officer, to include advanced crisis intervention training.

    This class is required to obtain the Mental Health Officer Certification.

    NOTE: Personnel who have successfully completed the Basic Instructor class may teach most CIT classes after the successful completion of this class and certification as a Mental Health Officer. This course does NOT, however, provide for meeting all of the necessary requirements for teaching the TCOLEs Course #1850. Having the Mental Health Officer certification does not equate to being a Mental Health Officer, which is a specified role within a police agency.

    Houston Police Officer Training Prerequisites And Educational Requirements

    To qualify for a police officer position with the Houston Police Department, candidates must be US citizens between 21 and 44 years of age, meet weight and height requirements, have a clean criminal history, possess a valid driverâs license, and successfully complete the HPD hiring process. Candidates must also have at least 48 semester hours of college credit with a minimum GPA of 2.0, though the education requirement may be waived with previous military or law enforcement experience. The HPD also looks at candidatesâ employment and credit histories accounts in collections may be grounds for disqualification from employment. Conviction of a Class A felony or misdemeanor at any time or of a Class B misdemeanor within ten years of the application date are automatic disqualifiers. Any tattoos or body art must be fully covered by the official uniform.

    Eligible applicants who complete the hiring process move on to the Houston Police Department Training Academy, which is a six-month program that includes academic learning as well as physical training. Though the program is Monday through Friday, cadets are prohibited from working or attending non-academy classes during the six-month training schedule. After graduation, recruits complete a six-month probation period, the first 12 to 16 weeks of which are completed while partnered with a Field Training Officer.

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    Houston Police Officer Requirements

    Like any major city, the Houston Police Department has a number of strict requirements for police candidates. All applicants looking to work in law enforcement in Houston must:

    • Be a US citizen
    • Be at least 21 years old at the date of hire
    • Have a valid drivers license with a clean driving record
    • Have at least 48 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university OR a minimum of two years of active duty in the US military with an honorable discharge OR at least five years experience as a peace officer licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement or an equivalent licensing agency from another state
    • Not have any felony charges or class B misdemeanors
    • Not have any tattoos that cannot be covered by the city police uniform

    Aspiring police recruits who meet the requirements above must pass a number of physical and mental examinations. The first step is a reading comprehension test followed by a physical agility test. After these tests are passed, candidates will then have to submit to a polygraph test, which precedes a psychological and medical exam. The final step before being admitted to the Houston Police Academy is an interview and a review of the candidates ability to work as a Houston cop.

    For more information, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our homepage. Once ready to apply for a position at the HPD, application information can be found at the Houston Police Department Career page.

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