As you consider employment with a police department, we encourage you to compare all the benefits each agency offers. In addition to the beginning base salary and top pay, these include:
- The provision of equipment
- Take-home cars
- Longevity and incentive pay
- Promotional and lateral transfer opportunities
- Retirement packages
Retirement is offered through the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS). There is an employee contribution of 7%, and the City matches the employee contributions and interest 2:1 upon retirement. The Department issues officers protective vests and, if eligible, a take-home car. Officers can earn additional pay for levels of certification or education. The City of Denton also reimburses 100% of the employee's tuition at an accredited college or university.
If you have any questions regarding the Denton Police requirements, contact the Recruiting Unit at 940-349-7832 or by email.
- How many openings do you have?
The Denton Police Department currently has 210 authorized sworn positions. We average about 10 openings at any given time.
- How does civil service work regarding the entry level position?
All prospective police officer candidates, other than candidates for the position of police chief or lateral applicants, must take the civil service exam first. They must pass the test, turn in a Preliminary Background Questionnaire, and be placed on an eligibility list. Everyone who is not applying for the position of Police Chief, or as a lateral transfer, will start at the entry level rank of Police Officer.
- I took the test a couple of months ago and I still have not been contacted. Why not?
If this is the case, we have not yet arrived at your name on the eligibility list. After the final list is posted, with all tie-breakers and other provisions applied, we start with the first name on the list and work down. The number of openings determine the number of applications being worked on at the same time.
For example, if we have five openings, we work on five applications. Once we start on a candidate's application, we work through the entire process, step by step until the candidate is either hired or disqualified. After that, we move to the next name on the list based on the number of current openings.
When and if we get to your name, we will contact you. You must keep your contact information current or it could jeopardize your opportunity for employment with us.
- I passed but did not score very well on the test, should I give up on coming to work for the Denton Police Department this time around?
Absolutely not! We routinely get through an entire eligibility list before filling all positions. The reason is that most people on the list do not meet our hiring standards for one reason or another.
- Is there a physical agility test?
The Denton Police Department does not currently have a physical agility test such as an obstacle course or a Cooper test. Much later in the process, candidates are sent to a physician for a physical exam and stress test. Candidates will be subjected to physical activity in which their heart will be monitored. The doctor will make a determination on whether or not the candidate is fit for police work.
If you are worried about the physical assessment, see your doctor first and then consider starting your own health and fitness program.
- How long is the hiring process?
It varies from candidate to candidate. From the time we contact you until the time you are hired usually takes a month but typically no longer than three months.
- If I am a licensed peace officer, will you require me to attend another police academy?
Maybe. Licensed Texas peace officers may be required to attend a Denton Police Department Basic Police Academy (BPOC), and each officer applicant will be assessed based upon their prior level of training and experience. Certified officers will attend an orientation program of at least two weeks and then go into the Field Training Program. Licensed police officers from other states who apply for Lateral Police Officer positions will not have to attend an academy if they have already become certified in Texas through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), which consists of submitting the Out of State Federal Initial Application, completing the 120-hour Texas Supplemental Peace Officer Course (course #1018), and successfully passing the State of Texas Licensing Exam.
For more information on becoming certified in Texas please visit the TCOLE website.
- Where do you send recruits for the police academy and how long does it last?
The Denton Police Department currently hosts two academies annually, generally starting in January and in July, and all new recruits who are not already licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) will attend one of these academies. The curriculum now consists of over 800 hours of training and takes approximately five months to complete.
- How long is field training?
The field training program lasts approximately six months but can be shorter for advanced recruits. During this time, you will be under the constant supervision of experienced police officers who will monitor your daily performance according to the program. Upon completion of the field training program, all officers will go directly to the Patrol Division where you will be assigned to a car by yourself.
Generally, the Denton Police Department does not work two-officer patrol unless directed by supervisors.
- How is the current patrol shift configured?
The Patrol Division now works 12 hour shifts based on an 80 hour, 2 week cycle.
- How long do I have to work in patrol before becoming a criminal investigator, a sergeant or assigned to any other section?
Most police officers spend several years in patrol before moving laterally into other positions such as investigator, school resource officer, traffic enforcement and administration. There is a two year minimum of assignment as a patrol officer before application can be made for these assignments. However, when positions come open, interested officers will be competing with other officers seeking the same positions. Selection criteria vary from section to section.
There are six ranks in the Denton Police Department:
- Police Officer
- Deputy Chief
- Assistant Chief
Promotions for Sergeant and Lieutenant are based on civil service provisions. Deputy Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs are selected by the Chief. The Chief is selected by the City Manager and approved by the City Council.
Police Officers must have three years of time in service before being eligible for Sergeant. Sergeants must have two years of time in grade to be eligible for Lieutenant. On average, newly promoted Patrol Sergeants have seven or more years of time in service.
- Is there any financial cost incurred by me upon being hired?
Yes. The Denton Police Department will provide you with uniforms, duty equipment, and some other accessories. You will also be supplied with training ammunition for your sidearm and Department rifle. However, you will be responsible for purchasing or providing the following items:
- Your pistol. The Denton Police Department does not issue sidearms or rifles to police officers. Recruit officers must purchase and are only allowed to carry a Glock 17, currently Generation 5, equipped with approved night sights. Recruit officers will be required to purchase a patrol rifle from the approved Department list prior to completion of the probationary period. The Police Department will provide you with a duty shotgun and duty ammunition if desired.
- Appropriate footwear.
- Physical training attire for the academy (if applicable).
- How much will a pistol and associated gear cost me?
A Generation 5 Glock 17 can currently be purchased for approximately $520, including night sights and tax. Other gear, such as holsters, magazine carriers, and ammunition will be provided.
- When is the next civil service test?
Civil Service exams are administered multiple times a year. Visit the Law Enforcement Careers page to view the current civil service exam schedule.
- How can I study for the civil service test?
Knowledge of police procedure is not necessary for this exam. The exam is a content-valid written test used to measure candidates’ ability to effectively work with the public and other members of their department in addition to reading comprehension, writing ability, reasoning/analyzing, mathematical reasoning, and various human relations skills.