Dallas Police Department Officer Requirements
The Dallas Police Department employs 3,640 sworn officers and 556 civilian police personnel to provide law enforcement services to the 1.3 million residents living within the 385 square miles of the City of Dallas.1 The department's mission to protect and serve the public is supported by the eight divisions within its Patrol Bureau, which is one of the department's five major bureaus that work together to control and combat crime within the Dallas city limits.
Steps to Becoming a Dallas PD Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Apply for and take the City of Dallas civil service exam.
- Complete an online application and preliminary interview questionnaire.
- Take a polygraph exam.
- Complete an oral interview with the Applicant Interview Board.
- Pass the background investigation.
- Complete a psychological exam.
- Pass the medical and physical exams.
- Pass the physical fitness test.
- Complete police academy training.
- Complete 24 weeks of field training.
- Begin working as a Dallas police officer.
How to Become a Dallas, Texas Police Officer
To become a Dallas police officer, candidates must first take the city's civil service exam. This exam tests the applicant's general knowledge of math, English, and law. Next, prospective recruits must submit an application to the Dallas Police Department, which includes a preliminary interview-style questionnaire. Candidates who pass this step will be invited to complete a polygraph exam and oral interview with an interview panel. Next, candidates undergo a background check.
Applicants who are still in the selection pool at this stage must then complete thorough medical and psychological evaluations and pass the department's physical fitness exam. Recruits who receive a conditional offer of hire move forward to the next stage of the hiring process, which is training at the Dallas Police Basic Training Academy. Academy graduates complete a further 24 weeks of field training under the supervision of a training officer.
Dallas, Texas Police Officer Job Description
The Dallas PD is the second-largest police department in Texas and the ninth-largest police department in the US.1 Dallas police officers work to maintain peace and safety within their jurisdiction. Patrol officers do this by physically observing their “beat,” or assigned patrol area. They respond to 911 calls and are expected to resolve conflicts while keeping citizens safe. Officers also investigate crimes and enforce the law.
In addition to eight patrol divisions, the Dallas Police Department has several specialized law enforcement divisions, including mounted, criminal intelligence, and narcotics units. These units work with each other, the community, and other law enforcement agencies to control crime. Officers can qualify to join these specialized units after gaining experience working in patrol assignments.
Dallas, Texas Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
To be considered for employment as a Dallas police officer, applicants must be US citizens, be at least 19 years and six months of age and not older than 44, and have a high school diploma or GED plus at least 45 semester credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university. Those applying before their 21st birthday must have 60 semester hours of college credit. The college credit requirement may be waived for applicants with acceptable previous law enforcement or military experience. Candidates must also have a driver's license with a responsible driving history. Information regarding vision and physical fitness standards for the Dallas Police Department can be found online at DallasPolice.net. Applicants must go through an extensive screening process that includes personal interviews; polygraph, medical, and psychological evaluations; and a background check.
Recruits who successfully complete the selection process are invited to complete training at the police academy. The Dallas Police Basic Training Academy program is 36 weeks in length and includes academic instruction in police tactics and law as well as physical instruction. Recruits are strongly advised to arrive at the academy in peak physical condition. Recruits who graduate from the academy are assigned to a patrol unit, where they will complete an additional 24 weeks of field training.
Dallas Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Police officers in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan area earn an average salary of $64,380 per year.2 The starting salary for officers with the Dallas PD is $44,658, which rises to $48,258 for officers who have a bachelor's degree.1 Officers may be eligible for additional pay incentives based on overtime, advanced certifications by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), language skills, and shift assignments. Officers also receive medical and life insurance benefits as well as sick time and vacation leave.
Dallas Police Department
1400 S Lamar St
Dallas, TX 75215
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What are the retirement benefits for officers enrolled in the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System?
Answer: All sworn officers with the Dallas Police Department are enrolled in the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System (DPFP). Officers contribute 8.5% of their computation pay to this defined benefit pension plan, while the city contributes 27.5% of total payroll. Officers are eligible to receive their pensions at the age of 55 after accruing 10 or more years of service.
Question: What is the average salary for Dallas PD officers?
Answer: As of 2015, the average salary for sworn officers in the Dallas metro area was $64,380 per year.2 First-line supervisors of police, which include sergeants and lieutenants, earned an average of $102,580 per year.2
Question: What are the education requirements to become a police officer in Dallas?
Answer: Prospective Dallas police officers must have a high school diploma or GED plus at least 45 college credit hours from a regionally accredited school. Candidates who are applying before their 21st birthday must have 60 semester hours of college credit. Those with prior law enforcement or military experience may qualify for a waiver of the college credit requirement.
1. Dallas Police Department: http://www.dallaspolice.net/join-dpd
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19100.htm