Law Enforcement Careers in Texas

In Texas, laws are enformced at the city/municipal, county, and state levels. Each type of law enforcement career in Texas has its own requirements and tests that one must pass before licensure as a law enforcement officer can be granted.

Municipal police officers in Texas are called Peace Officers. County sheriffs’ departments employ County Jailers, Deputy Sheriffs and Sheriffs. State troopers work under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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Police Officer Jobs in Texas – TX

In Texas, police officers are known as Peace Officers. These jobs may be found in cities and municipalities across Texas, such as:

  • Houston I.S.D. Police Department
  • Laredo Police Department
  • Lubbock Police Department
  • Fort Worth Police Department
  • Arlington Police Department

Titles for peace officer jobs in Texas may be:

  • Peace officer
  • Police officer
  • Patrol officer

According to Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), in 2011 crimes in Texas municipalities decreased by 6.3 percent from 2010’s numbers.

Deputy Sheriff Jobs in Texas – TX

County police officers/deputy sheriffs in Texas are called County Jailers. They are located in counties throughout Texas. Some of the largest counties that employ County Jailers are:

  • Austin County Sheriff’s Office
  • Dallas County Constable Precincts
  • Houston County Sheriff’s Office
  • Collin County Sheriff’s Office
  • El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

Titles for deputy sheriff jobs in Texas may be:

  • Sheriff
  • Deputy sheriff
  • County jailer

UCR reports from 2011 indicate that crimes reported by Texas county sheriff departments decreased by 6.6 percent from 2010.

Qualifications for Becoming a Peace Officer or County Jailer in Texas

All peace officers and county jailers in Texas must complete a basic licensing/training course, pass a state licensing examination, and be officially appointed by a Texas law enforcement agency.  Basic requirements to enroll in the licensing course include:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • No family violence offense convictions
  • May operate motor vehicle legally
  • May possess firearms/ammunition legally
  • No convictions for Class B misdemeanor in past 10 years
  • No convictions for any misdemeanors above a Class B ever
  • No current criminal convictions
  • High school diploma/equivalent or 12 hours of college credit
  • Pass medical and psychological examinations and drug tests
  • Pass a background investigation
  • Meet age requirements:
    • Peace officer:  21  (unless candidate has an associate degree or 60 semester hours of college credit – age requirement then is 18)
    • County jailer : 18

Training for Peace Officer and County Jailer Jobs in Texas

All prospective Texas peace officers must pass the current basic Texas peace officer course, taken at a licensed law enforcement academy. Contract, academic and out-of-state training programs may be approved by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

All prospective Texas county jailers must pass the current basic Texas county corrections course.

State Trooper Jobs With the Highway Patrol in Texas – TX

The Texas Highway Patrol Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety employs police officers trained to deal with state traffic supervision and criminal law enforcement on state and rural roads in Texas. As of 2013, there are 2119 commissioned Highway Patrol officers in Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety also employs State Troopers.

The headquarters of the Texas Highway Patrol Division is located in Austin, TX. There is also a unit located in the Capitol Region, Region VII, of downtown Austin. Highway patrol offices are located in:

  • Wichita Falls
  • Waco
  • Tyler
  • San Antonio
  • San Angelo
  • Pierce
  • Midland
  • McAllen
  • Lufkin
  • Lubbock
  • Laredo
  • Hurst
  • Houston
  • Garland
  • Corpus Christi
  • Conroe
  • Beaumont
  • Austin
  • Amarillo
  • Abilene

State troopers in Texas are located in the above cities, as well as in:

  • Bryan
  • Childress
  • El Paso
  • Granbury
  • Killeen
  • Mineral Wells
  • Odessa
  • Sherman
  • Texarkana
  • Victoria
  • Weslaco

State trooper job titles and jobs with the Texas Highway Patrol include:

  • State trooper
  • Highway patrol officer
  • Trooper trainee

Texas state troopers are helping to keep the state safe. Crimes in the state of Texas decreased across the board in 2011. Compared to 2010’s crime statistics:

  • Murder decreased by 12.7 percent
  • Robbery decreased by 13.6 percent
  • Motor vehicle theft decreased by 7.1 percent
  • Aggravated assault decreased by 4.9 percent

Qualifications for Becoming a State Trooper in Texas

  • Submit an online application
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 20 years old
  • Have at least 60 college credit hours OR 24 months of police or military experience
  • Pass the Trooper Trainee Test
  • Pass a background investigation
  • Pass a physical/medical examination
  • Pass a physical demands test
  • Pass a polygraph examination

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