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Law Enforcement Careers

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, and 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 percent 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 PDRecruiting@cityofdenton.com

HOW TO APPLY

The Denton Police Department hires from an eligibility list that is created by the passing scores on a Civil Service Exam. Read this important Applicant Information first before registering for the exam: Notice of Civil Service Examination (POA)

Civil Service Exam Information: The next Civil Service Exam has been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at 9 a.m. Online registration is now open and closes Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.

Test begins at 9 a.m.; NO ADMITTANCE TO THE TESTING SITE AFTER 9 A.M.
Denton Public Safety Training Center
601 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX 76205

Personal History Statement - You must submit a completed copy of the Personal History Statement at check-in at the Civil Service Exam.

Rules and Regulations of the Civil Service Commission for the City of Denton 

Military credit applicants must present a copy of their DD214 at check-in in order to receive five points.

Hiring Process Overview:

  • Civil Service Exam
  • Interpersonal Skills Assessment
  • Pre-Polygraph Interview
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Background Investigation
  • Oral Interview Board
  • Chief's Interview
  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Health Assessment and Drug Screen
  • Placed on payroll and must successfully complete the Police Academy at the department's expense
  • Must pass the State Licensing Exam

  • Basic Requirements

    Citizenship: Must be a U.S. Citizen

    Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to take the Civil Service exam; however, in order to be a Police officer, applicants must be at least 21 years of age and cannot have reached their 45th Birthday.

    Education: Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED AND have completed at least 30 hours of college from an accredited college or university with at least a 2.0 GPA.

    OR

    Applicants must possess a high school diploma or a GED AND have two years Active Military Duty with an Honorable Discharge.

    Eyesight: Vision must be correctable to 20/20 in both eyes. Must not be color blind.

    Driver's License: Must possess or be able to obtain a valid Texas driver's license.

    Past Criminal Record:

    • Not be on probation for any criminal offense above the grade of a Class C misdemeanor.
    • Not have been convicted of a Class B misdemeanor within the last ten (10) years.
    • No convictions of a Class A or a Felony offense.
    • No convictions for any Family Violence offense.
    • No convictions for DWI in the past ten (10) years.
    • Cannot be on suspension for a breath test refusal.
    • Have not been prohibited by state or federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
    • Have not been prohibited by state or federal law from operating a motor vehicle within the past 24 months.
    • Cannot be currently under indictment for any criminal offense.
    • No convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude.

    Health: Pass a health assessment, to include a drug screen.

  • Salary & Benefits

    Annual salaries listed below are effective as of March 2019.

    Police Recruit:
    Entry (Police Academy) $61,810.00
    Step 1 (Completion of Academy and/or Texas Peace Officer Certification) $62,290.50
    Step 2 (Completion of Field Training Program) $62,771.00

    Police Officer:

    • 1 Year (Step A) $67,507.00
    • 2 Years (Step B) $70,223.71
    • 3 Years (Step C) $72,940.42
    • 5 Years (Step D) $75,657.13
    • 7 Years (Step E) $78,373.84
    • 9 Years (Step F) $81,090.55
    • 12 Years (Step G) $83,807.26
    • 15 Years (Step H) $86,524.00


    Monthly Certification Pay:
    Intermediate Certification $90
    Advanced Certification $150
    Master Certification $210

    Education:
    30 hrs toward degree $60
    Associate's Degree $90
    Bachelor’s Degree $150
    Master’s Degree $210

    Figures are not cumulative.
     

    Vacation:
    Fifteen (15) days per year, earned at ten (10) hours per month. Officers also receive Bonus Vacation of one-half (1/2) day (four hours) extra vacation for each year worked past the fifth (5th) year of service beginning on the anniversary date of the completion of the fifth (5th) year. Vacation time can be accumulated to a maximum of 320 hours (total amount capable of being carried over from anniversary date to anniversary date).

    Sick leave:
    Fifteen (15) days per year, earned at ten (10) hours per month. No limit on how much can be accumulated, but an employee would only be paid for up to ninety (90) days of sick leave upon termination.

    Overtime:
    Any officer who is required to work beyond his/her scheduled shift will be paid overtime at the rate of one and one-half (1 1/2) hours for each hour worked.

    Holidays:
    The City of Denton has nine (9) paid holidays per year: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Officers who work holidays will be compensated at the rate of one and one half (1 1/2) times their normal salary.

    Longevity:
    After one year of service, an officer will receive four (4) dollars per month for each year of service ($48/year). No maximum.

    Life insurance:
    The City of Denton provides life insurance for each employee at no cost to the individual. The coverage equals one (1) year's salary or double in cases of accidental death.

    Retirement:
    Employees participate in the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS). Employees contribute seven percent of gross pay (tax deferred) and the City of Denton matches contributions and interest on a 2:1 basis upon retirement. Employees can retire after 20 years of service at any age or with five years of service at age 60. ICMA is also offered to employees as a supplemental retirement savings plan. It is tax deferred and it is a voluntary plan with no City of Denton contributions.

    PayFlex:
    Employees may elect to enroll in PayFlex in order to use tax-free dollars to pay for out of pocket medical expenses and/or dependent care expenses.

    Medical Insurance:
    An employee has two (2) PPO options for medical insurance. The employee pays for dependents, and depending on plan type and other criteria, may receive medical benefits at no cost or low cost premiums for “employee only” coverage.

    Uniforms:
    The Department will issue uniforms to the employee including a Sam Browne, cuffs, and case, O.C. spray and body armor.

    Take-home Vehicle:
    The Department has a large fleet of vehicles. To qualify for a take-home vehicle, officers must reside inside the city of Denton, and must conform to the take-home vehicle policy. The officers in Field Operations (patrol) drive fully equipped squads at no cost to the officer. Insurance, gas, and maintenance are furnished by the Department. Vehicles are issued on a seniority basis.

    Tuition Reimbursement:
    The City of Denton offers 100% reimbursement for tuition and required fees to employees taking occupation-related courses toward a degree program or a job-related course. Reimbursement for courses requires the approval of the Director of Human Resources prior to enrollment. Employees must continue to work for two (2) years with the City after completion of course work, or the employees must reimburse the City.

    Accordia Plan:
    Through the Acordia Plan, identified expenses can be sheltered from federal taxes. Payroll deductions will allow you to save tax dollars by reducing the amount of taxable income.

Lateral Law Enforcement Transfers

  • Requirements
    At the time of application, each Lateral Entry Officer (LEO) applicant must:
     
    1. Be actively employed as a full time paid police officer with a municipal, county, or state law enforcement agency or Honorably Discharged from a full time paid police officer position with such an agency within the previous 24 months, provided that the applicant currently holds an active Texas Peace Officer License, and:
    1. The applicant has a total of 3 years of active service for one or more municipal, county, or state law enforcement agencies that has at least 50 sworn police officers and handles a full array of urban police work (i.e., respond to all types of calls for law enforcement services);
    2. LEO applicants who work or worked for an agency that has fewer than 50 sworn police officers will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    1. Be no less than 21 years old and have not reached their 45th birthday at the time they apply to be hired as a LEO; and
    2. Have obtained a high school diploma or have a GED and obtained thirty (30) hours college credit, or have a GED and 2 years active military duty with an honorable discharge and have graduated from an accredited police academy.

    Out of state applicants have to hold a Current Texas peace officer license. Licenses can be obtained by contacting TCOLE and filling out the “out of state federal initial application” to qualify for the 120 hours supplemental class for licensing.
     
  • Lateral Transfer Pay
    Lateral Transfer Pay 2019:
    • 3 Years (Step C): $72,940.42
    • 5 Years (Step D): $75,657.13

    Lateral Transfer Pay Effective March 21, 2020:
    • 3 Years (Step C): $77,188.00
    • 5 Years (Step D): $80,641.00
  • How to Apply
    To apply for a lateral law enforcement transfer, download and fill out a Personal History Statement. Return the completed PHS and all requested documentation to the Denton Police Department Recruiting Office located in the Denton Public Safety Training Center at 719 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX 76205. For additional questions, contact DPD Recruiting Unit at (940) 349-7832 or PDRecruiting@cityofdenton.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the next civil service test?
    The Denton Police Department’s next Civil Service Exam has been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at 9 a.m. Registration is now open.
  • How can I study for the civil service test?
    Knowledge of police procedure is not necessary for this exam. The test will measure your writing skills regarding grammar and your reading comprehension. The Denton Police Department does not issue or recommend any study guides for this test. The applicant will receive a study guide to read for 25 minutes prior to the exam.
  • How many openings do you have?
    The Denton Police Department currently has 189 sworn positions. We average between 1 to 6 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 Personal History Statement, 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?
    No. Licensed Texas peace officers will go directly into the Field Training Program. Licensed police officers from other states will not have to attend another police academy either. However, the State of Texas now requires you to complete a 120 hour Supplemental Peace Officer Course offered by Texas police academies, which will take three to four weeks to complete. At the end of the course, you will be eligible to take the state exam provided that all other application matters are in order. We will submit your application once you are hired. If you wish to get more information on this process, go to: http://www.tcleose.state.tx.us/content/publications.cfm and click on OSA-Out of State Officer Application.
  • Where do you send recruits for the police academy and how long does it last?
    Starting in January of 2020, the Denton Police Department will host three academies annually and all recruits hired by our agency who are not already licensed by TCOLE will attend one of these academies. The curriculum now consists of over 800 hours of training and takes 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 twelve hour shifts based on an 80 hour two 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, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief and 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. You may be allowed to carry a patrol rifle at your own expense and after receiving training. 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.
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