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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


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, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m. Online registration is now closed.

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.


    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

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

    Figures are not cumulative.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

Military and law enforcement prior experience

If you served at least 24 months in the Military Occupational Specialty of the Military Police in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Navy, you will not have to complete the basic police academy if hired by the Denton Police Department. The State of Texas allows for you to take the 120 hour Peace Officer Supplemental Course and then challenge the state exam.

  • All licensed Texas Peace Officers who hold either a basic, intermediate, advanced, or master peace officer proficiency certificate will receive preference on the civil service exam. Here is how it works after the final list is posted:
  • All persons meeting this description who score between 90 and 105 will automatically go to the top of the list, ranked by their level of certification.
  • All persons meeting this description who score between 80 and 89 will automatically go to the top of the list of persons scoring in the 80th percentile, ranked by their level of certification.
  • All persons meeting this description who score between 70 and 79 will automatically go to the top of the list of persons scoring in the 70th percentile, ranked by their level of certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the next civil service test?
    The Denton Police Department’s next Civil Service Exam has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept 7, at 9 a.m. Registration is now closed.
  • 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.
  • I do not see the next test date listed on your website. Why not?
    If you do not see the next test date on the website, it has not been determined and approved. There is no need to call the Denton Police Department to ask because when it is determined and approved, the information will be immediately posted on the website.