If you want to become a law enforcement officer in Texas, you have to comply with the standards of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCLE). They set the rules for what you have to do in order to become a police officer in Texas. If you don’t meet the minimum standards, you can’t even enroll in police academy. The Texas Administrative Code details these minimum standards in rule 217.1. There are many requirements.
For starters, you have to have a high school diploma. A GED works instead. If you’ve been in the military, you have to have a honorable discharge and at least twenty-four months of active-duty service. For the most part, you have to be twenty-one years old. You can be eighteen if you have an associate’s degree or sixty hours of college credit. You can also be eighteen, nineteen or twenty if you have at least two years of military experience.
You can receive a license to attend police school as long as you meet the minimum requirements. This means passing a fingerprint check that includes being honest about your criminal record. For the most part, you can’t have any Class B misdemeanors or higher on your record, but you can in some cases if the convictions are very old.
You can’t have any criminal charges pending that would be disqualifying, either. Family violence is another problem that stands in the way of many applicants, so make sure that you do not have a history of domestic violence or of violating personal protection orders.
Texas doesn’t allow law enforcement officers who haven’t proven physical fitness by passing a doctor’s exam, and you also can’t have any drug dependencies. You have to drug test while working as a law enforcement officer in Texas, anyways, so it’s important to be free of any chemical dependencies before signing up for police academy. Your medical exam is only valid for 180 days, so it’s important to pay attention to the timing. You also need to submit a psychological exam that clears you for the type of work.
Once you meet these requirements, you enroll in a Texas police academy, or training called a basic peace officer course. This training is developed by the TCLE. There are different training courses for the type of law enforcement work you want to do, so make sure that you don’t enroll in jailer training if what you want to do is be on the beat.
Another big obstacle for many candidates is moral fitness. To become a law enforcement officer, TCLE looks into your background. Do an internet search of your name to see what they see when they research you. Even bad credit can stand in your way of receiving a certificate to attend police academy. You might be surprised at what you find about yourself online.
The TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) conducts most officer training in the Lone Star State, both for new officers and for continuing education for officers currently on the force. In order to succeed in police training, you have to be in good health.
If you’re applying for the police academy or you’re about to start, there’s no time like the present to start working on your physical fitness. You can’t have any problem that hinders your ability to do your job well. You have to have 20/20 vision, with or without corrective lenses.
Attending a police academy can take as many as six months. Sometimes you live at the facility and sometimes you commute, depending on the program in which you enroll. Make sure you don’t have any other employment or family responsibilities that interfere with your ability to complete the training, because it is quite physically and emotionally exhausting.
If you’re about to embark on your police officer training in Texas, it’s important to take the next step and begin to learn about law enforcement policies and procedures. This can help take the stress away from your training and put you ahead of the curve. One great place to start is the book Prepare For The Police Academy. Available at www.PrepareForThePoliceAcademy.com, this book is a comprehensive insider’s guide to police academy training. Learn what the experts wish they had known before they started training. This is a great way to show up prepared and ready for the challenges of rigorous police work.
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