How to Become a Police Officer in Dallas
With about 1.24 million people, Dallas, Texas is the ninth-largest city in the United States. In 2014, it ranked number four in Forbes’ list of America’s 20 fastest growing cities.1,2 Together with Fort Worth, Dallas forms part of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States. The city also boasts being the number one destination in the state of Texas for visitors and tourism.1
For those wishing to become part of the law enforcement team in Dallas, the application, selection, and training process is detailed below.
Dallas Police Officer Requirements
Becoming a cop in Dallas requires that candidates first meet some basic prerequisites. First, all applicants must be US citizens and hold a valid driver’s license. Unlike many other cities, police officers at the DPD are required to have completed some college by the time they apply, substituted only by having served at least three years in the military with an honorable discharge. With 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 2.0, candidates must be at least 19 years and six months old at the time of application. With 45 credit hours from an accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 2.0, applicants must be between the ages of 21-44.
Prospective Dallas cops should have a vision in each eye of at least 20/100, no pending court cases, and no more than three hazardous traffic violations in the past 24 months. The DPD also has a tattoo policy, which can be explained by a recruiter.
The first step for joining the law enforcement team in Dallas is to have a preliminary screening interview. Then, applicants must pass a board interview with DPD police officers and supervisors. Following the interviews, a polygraph, psychological and medical exam, and a background check will be performed. Next, a physical test will be administered, which includes a bench press, run, sit-ups and push-ups. Upon passing these evaluations, candidates will attend a 35-week academy, for which they will be paid, followed by 24 weeks of field training.
For more information about how to become a cop in a typical big city, see 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. If you are ready to apply now, find specific application information at Dallas Police Department – Recruiting.
Dallas Police Department Information
The DPD is comprised of over 4,000 employees, and has an operating budget of 426 million dollars.3 The city is broken up into seven squad divisions. Each of those divisions contains five sectors, with 35 total sectors.
Dallas Police Training Academy
The Dallas Police Training Academy is 35.5 weeks long, with 1344 training hours or 168 training days.4 The academy is broken up into three phases. Topics covered include defensive driving, code of conduct, fitness, defensive tactics, and Spanish. In 2010, the academy graduated 234 recruits, but in 2011, that number dropped to 18.4
Dallas Police Salary and Jobs Outlook
The starting salary for Dallas police officers depends on education. For cops who have a bachelor’s degree, their starting salary is $46,541, and for cops without a degree, their starting salary is $42,941.3 The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that police enforcement officers in Dallas made an average of $58,320 in 2013.5 Cops in Dallas make more money for working less desirable shifts, for speaking foreign languages, if they are certified master peace officers. DPD officers can also expect deferred compensation plans, health and dental benefits, and retirement eligibility after 20 years of service.3
The outlook for police officers in the state of Texas is bright. People who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement in Texas can expect around a 17% growth in job opportunities, with approximately 2,760 police officer jobs to be available each year through 2022.6
For more information on current DPD law enforcement positions, take a look at our state job board page for Texas.
How to Learn More About the Department and Crime in Dallas
The Citizen’s Police Academy is available to those Dallas residents who are 21 and older, and wish to learn more about how DPD cops are trained, and how the DPD operates. The program is free and lasts for 8-10 weeks (one 3-hour class each week). Find out more and complete an application on the Citizen’s Academy page.
Dallas Police Department
4230 W Illinois Ave
Dallas, TX 75211
- Texas Fraternal Order of Police: http://texasfop.org/
- Texas Fraternal Order of Police Foundation: http://texasfopfoundation.org/
- Dallas Fraternal Order of Police: http://dallasfop588.com/
1. Visit Dallas: http://www.visitdallas.com/
2. Forbes Magazine: https://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2014/02/14/americas-20-fastest-growing-cities/
3. Dallas Police Department: http://www.dallaspolice.net/
4. Dallas City Hall: http://dallascityhall.com/Pages/default.aspx
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19124.htm
6. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm