How to Become a Police Officer in Arlington

The growing city of Arlington, Texas would make a great home for law enforcement officers. The city has a population of over 370,000 and is a part of the fourth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the county which is the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA.1,2 Arlington provides many attractions for its residents, including two national sports teams, an amusement and water park, and tons of great shopping. The average annual salary for a police officer ($59,940 per year) can go far due to Arlington’s low cost of living (7% cheaper than the national average).3,4 Cops will find that Arlington is an affordable place to begin a career and an exciting place to live.

Individuals hoping to become a part of the Arlington Police Department will find information on the application, selection and training process below.

Arlington Police Officer Requirements

The Arlington Police Department (APD) upholds the public safety of the city of Arlington. In 2014, the APD employed 619 sworn officers and 193 civilians with their annual budget of $89,766,728.5
Individuals wishing to become members of the APD should be able to write clearly, read and speak English. In addition, applicants must:

  • Be 21 years of age
  • Be a US citizen
  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Have no class A nor felony convictions and must not be serving probation for a class C or above misdemeanor
  • Have no relatives employed by the APD
  • Have no DWI convictions within the past 10 years
  • Have no more than 20/100 uncorrected visual acuity, corrected to 20/20, and must not have color or night blindness
  • Have no more than a 30 decibel hearing loss (corrected or uncorrected)

Any tattoos or brandings must be covered while in police uniform or city-authorized attire. After completing a preliminary interview, selected applicants will have two opportunities to complete the five-event physical agility test.

For more information about becoming a law enforcement officer in a big city like Arlington, check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. For more recruitment information, visit the Department’s recruitment page.

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience, Will Johnson was appointed as Police Chief in 2013. That same year, Chief Johnson was awarded the Gary P. Hayes Memorial Award for his commitment to improved policing. Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Tech University, a master’s in liberal arts from Texas Christian University, and he graduated from the 245th session of the FBI National Academy.

Arlington Police Department Information

APD cops earn a starting salary of $56,983 per year, which increases to $62,772 after three years of service. Field operations, support operations, and management services make up the three bureaus of the APD. The Department’s four patrol districts: north, south, east, and west are subdivided into beats. Law enforcement officers can work in a patrol district or one of the Department’s units which include:

  • Aviation unit
  • Financial crimes & ID theft
  • Gang unit
  • Internal affairs
  • K-9 unit
  • School offices

Arlington Police Training Academy

In 2014, 37 new recruits started the 28-week Arlington Police Academy.5 All APD recruits go through 1,120 hours of rigorous training at the Academy which include: classroom, scenario, driving, firearms, and leadership training.

In addition to passing written exams during the Academy, potential cops will have to pass the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) exam prior to becoming a sworn officer.

Arlington Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

Over 4,000 cops are employed in Fort-Worth and Arlington, earning an average annual salary of $61,550.6. In Texas, the number of police officers is projected to increase by 17% by 2022, translating into 2,760 positions annually.7 The exact number of new cops the city can hire will depend on the city’s budget and the number of police officers that retired the prior year.

To view open listings for police officers in Arlington, visit our jobs board page.

More Information on the Arlington Police Department and Crime

The APD has many opportunities for citizen involvement. Residents of Arlington can start a Community Watch Group, made up of neighbors who share information on activity and events that happen in their community with police officers. Citizens ages 18 and older can apply to participate in the Citizens on Patrol (COP) program which allows citizens to patrol their neighborhoods and work to prevent crime. COP participants must meet the following qualifications.

APD promotes a Citizens Police Academy (CPA) to residents who want to gain knowledge about police operation and procedures. The 33-hour Academy, which recently graduated 40 citizens, includes topics on community policing, traffic enforcement, procedural justice, auto theft, and economic crimes among many others.8

“I like solving things, plus I want a career with action. In the academy, I learned so much…more than I ever thought possible. It was a great experience.” -Zaria Nails, graduate of the 2014 High School Citizens Police Academy.

The APD hosts regular Unidos meetings for members of the Hispanic community to find out about city and police services. The Department also has a Youth Explorer Program for youth ages 14 to 20 who desire a future career in law enforcement. Explorers assist with many community service projects across the city and receive some law enforcement training and hands-on exposure.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArlingtonPolice
Twitter: @arlingtonPD

Arlington Police Department Headquarters
620 W Division St
Arlington, TX 76011

Additional Resources

1. US Census Bureau, Arlington, TX: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045217
2. Largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas– Population: https://www.dol.gov/vets/grants/2015/Appendix-E.pdf
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19100.htm
4. Sperling’s Best Places, Arlington, TX: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/texas/arlington
5. Arlington Police Department Annual Reports: http://www.arlington-tx.gov/police/annual-report/
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Fort-Worth-Arlington, TX: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_23104.htm
7. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
8. City of Arlington, Police Department, Congratulations to 40 new graduates of citizens police academy: http://www.arlington-tx.gov/police/home/story4/