El Paso Police Department Officer Requirements
The El Paso Police Department (EPPD) employs over 1,000 officers and 200 civilian support personnel in furtherance of its mission to improve the local quality of life and provide law enforcement services to the citizens of El Paso.1 The EPPD has a reputation as an efficient and effective law enforcement agency and has national prominence due to its policing successes and proximity to the US-Mexico border. Special areas of concern related to the quality of life and community policing for the department include sex offender registration and tracking and drug stash houses.
Steps to Becoming an EPPD Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Complete an online application during an open recruiting period.
- Pass a writing, reading, and decision-making skills exam.
- Prepare for and pass four physical agility job simulation tests.
- Pass the background check and drug test.
- Complete medical, psychological, and polygraph screenings.
- Complete police academy training.
- Begin working as a sworn officer with the EPPD.
How to Become a El Paso, Texas Police Officer
In order to apply to become a police officer in El Paso, candidates must meet the minimum requirements outlined below and complete the competitive hiring process. This process includes a written examination as well as physical fitness tests modeled on the demands of police work. Those who pass these segments of the hiring process will complete a comprehensive background investigation and medical, psychological, and polygraph tests. Prospective officers who successfully complete the process may be selected to attend the El Paso Police Department Training Academy.
El Paso Police Officer Job Description
Because it is located near an international border, the EPPD sees high volumes of traffic through its city each day, leading to unique challenges for officers in this large metroplex. El Paso police officers serve and protect the community, responding to calls, performing routine patrols, and conducting investigations into criminal activity. El Paso also has several specialized units to which qualified officers can transfer, including a training operations group and an airport and special operations group. El Paso is also located within a designated High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which can lead to opportunities for qualified officers to work in specialized drug enforcement positions.
El Paso Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
The El Paso Police Department only accepts as police officers those who have a high school diploma or GED who are at least 21 years of age with at least 12 credit hours from an accredited college or university, or who are at least 18 years of age with an associate's degree or 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university, or who have two years of active service in the United States Armed Forces with an honorable discharge plus one year of general experience. Candidates must also possess a valid driver's license and have a clean criminal background.
Those who meet these requirements and successfully complete the hiring process may be accepted as police trainees. The 30-week El Paso Police Department Training Academy training sequence takes place Monday through Friday, with some evening and weekend commitments. Recruits learn about criminal law, report writing, criminal investigation, tactical vehicle operations, and firearms, among other topics. The training concludes with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) licensing exam, which recruits must pass in order to become sworn officers.
El Paso Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Police trainees in El Paso earn a starting salary of $16.60 per hour.1 Sworn police officers begin at a base salary of $42,047 per year after graduating from the academy.1 Annual step increases and advancement to detective or supervisory positions can substantially raise salary expectations over the length of an officer's career. Senior El Paso officers with at least nine years of experience, for example, make a minimum base salary of $60,939 per year.1 The average salary for police officers in El Paso was $60,020 as of 2015.2 All sworn officers receive benefits such as health and life insurance; paid holidays, sick time, and vacation time; and additional incentive pay based on duties and qualifications.
El Paso Police Department
911 N Raynor St
El Paso, TX 79903
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What are some examples of El Paso Police Department jobs?
Answer: In addition to working in patrol, police officers in El Paso can work in specialized law enforcement areas such as airport police operations, the bomb squad, the crisis management team, search and rescue, and dignitary protection. With international drug smuggling being a significant concern for the local area, officers may also have opportunities to specialize in drug enforcement.
Question: What do recruits learn at the El Paso police academy?
Answer: Cadets at the El Paso police academy, formally known as the El Paso Police Department Training Academy, learn the principles of criminal law, report writing, investigation, defensive tactics, and other critical police skills. Physical training in the academy is based on the principles of CrossFit. Recruits must pass the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) licensing exam after graduating from the academy in order to become sworn officers.
Question: How long does it take to become a police officer in El Paso?
Answer: After the EPPD announces the close of a recruiting period, prospective officers undergo approximately one month of aptitude testing before successful applicants move on to the background check phase, which can take several months. Police academy training for accepted recruits lasts for 30 weeks. Altogether, the process commonly takes nine months to a year.
1. El Paso Police Department: https://www.elpasotexas.gov/police-department
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, El Paso: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_21340.htm