Frequently Asked Questions

Can I become a police officer if I've made mistakes in the past?

Yes. You must be very honest in disclosing the particulars. The universal disqualifying mistake is deceit.

How old do I have to be to be a law enforcement officer?

You must be 21 years old to be hired at a law enforcement agency. Exemptions: Applicants who are 18 years of age may be accepted if they have 60 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university, or if the applicant has received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces with at least two years of full-time active duty service.

What are the minimum education requirements to be a law enforcement officer?

All law enforcement officers must have a high school diploma or equivalency to enter into a law enforcement academy in the state of Texas. Some agencies have higher education requirements; contact the agency you are considering for more education requirement information.

Where can I work after I pass TCOLE?

After passing TCOLE, you are eligible to apply to any law enforcement agency in Texas. Contact the agency you are considering and be aware of any specific agency requirements.

Will too may traffic violations hinder my acceptance into the law enforcement academy?

Your driving history shows your ability to abide by traffic laws. The agency you apply to will probably require you to submit a three-year Texas DPS driving history for evaluation. Chronic violations can be a deterrent for an agency. Complying with all laws will help you in your job search.

I received deferred adjudication for a Class A Misdemeanor. Can I still be a police officer?

No, an adult Class A Misdemeanor or felony conviction or court-ordered community supervision (adjudicated or deferred) is a lifetime disqualification for licensure as a peace officer in the state of Texas. A "No Contest" plea is considered a guilty verdict. However, there is an exception. You should discuss your situation with an academy official.

Do I need to have both a psychological and a physical examination prior to enrolling?

Yes, both a psychological and a physical examination are required prior to enrolling in the basic licensing course.

Can a nurse-practitioner conduct my physical exam and drug screening?

No, you must have been examined by a physician selected by our academy who is licensed by the Texas Medical Board. Why? Because the physician must be knowledgeable of law enforcement officer duties.

Can I become a peace officer in Texas if I am a peace officer in another state?

It depends on your work history and training. Every situation is different, so contact TCOLE with your situation to request an Out-Of-State Exam Endorsement. With this endorsement, you are eligible to take the TCOLE examination at our academy testing site.