Accepted candidates will receive 26 weeks of intense classroom instruction and testing acquiring a working knowledge of the Texas Penal Code, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Texas Transportation Code, Texas Family Code, rules and regulations of the police department and municipal ordinances of the City of Houston. Candidates will receive training in various law enforcement activities such as self-defense, crime scenes, weapon use, and pursuit driving. Successful graduates will be temporarily assigned to a patrol station for further training and evaluation. Candidates who pass all phases of the evaluation process will be expected to enforce federal, state, and local laws. Some of the essential patrol functions are answering citizen's calls, settling disputes, report writing, accident investigations, handling public disorder complaints, responding to alarms, making arrests, searching for suspects, gathering evidence, taking statements, securing property, and providing testimony in court.

During the academy, candidates will spend a majority of their time in a classroom setting. Physical exercising and testing will occur outside and inside of the academy building during hot and cold days. Candidates will be subject to stressful situations during various learning and training exercises.

As patrol officers, the majority of the day will most likely be spent sitting in a patrol car for long hours at a time. Officers may be required to work shift-work (evening and night shift) and conduct patrol duties by foot or bicycle. Officers will be subject to the conditions of the weather (hot, cold, raining, etc.) Officers may be subject to dangerous and stressful situations on a daily basis.

•Must have one of the following three qualifications:

  1. At least 48 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university with at minimum of a 2.0 grade point average;


  1. A minimum of 18 months active duty in the United States armed forces and received an honorable discharge;


  1. At least five years of full-time employment as a peace officer licensed by TCOLE or an equivalent licensing entity in another state.

•Must be between the ages of 20 ½ -44 years of age (Applicants must be 21 prior to graduation from the academy and must not turn 45 prior to graduation from the academy).

•Must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the United States for a period of time sufficient to conduct a comprehensive background investigation. Consideration given for military assignments and students who were full-time residents at college.

•Must pass a Physical Agility Test.

•Must pass a Reading Comprehension Test

•Must have a valid driver license and proof of liability insurance.

•Must have a driving record that reflects prudence and maturity.

•Must not have ever been convicted of or received community supervision for a Felony or a Class A Misdemeanor.

•Must not have been convicted of or received community supervision for a Class B Misdemeanor within the past 10 years.

•Former military personnel must not have been convicted of any court-martial higher than a summary.

•Must have a stable credit history, family background, and employment background.

Physical Agility Test
Reading Comprehension Test

Yes, this position is subject to random drug testing and is subject to drug testing for promotions and certain assignments.

Minimum Yearly Compensation
Cadet/Probationary Officer $42,000 – $46,420
Police Officer $49,831 – $95,676
Sr. Police Officer $86,224 - $102,263
Sergeant $88,649 - $113,866
Lieutenant $98,097 - $122,638
Captain $117,128 - $136,742

Bachelor's Degree $3,640 per year
Master's Degree $6,240 per year
Doctorate Degree $8,840 per year

Department also reimburses police officers for cost of additional eligible college hours.


  • After the first year of employment, officers may accrue 41 paid days off and increase to 61 paid days off per year plus 11 paid holidays.
  • Excellent, affordable health insurance subsidized by City of Houston. Also includes optional vision screening and dental insurance.
  • Defined benefit pension plan with early retirement options
  • Multiple supplemental retirement plans
  • Various deferred compensation plans available.

Promotional opportunities for all ranks.
HPD ranks are as follows:
Assistant Chief
Executive Assistant Chief

After an initial three-year period as a patrol officer, an officer will be eligible to apply for transfer to another division. HPD has over 45 divisions including Patrol, Vice, Tactical Unit, Dive Team, Gangs, Motorcycle Detail, Identification, Crime Scene Unit, SWAT, Helicopters, Auto Theft, Special Crimes, Juvenile, Hostage Negotiation, Victim Services, Missing Persons, Burglary & Theft, Narcotics, Legal Services, Airports, Mounted Patrol, Training Academy, Special Operations, K-9, Vehicular Crimes, Internal Affairs, Lake Patrol, Bike Patrol, Technology Services, Dispatch, Public Affairs, Crime Analysis, Inspections, Financial Crimes, Robbery, Criminal Intelligence, Investigative First Responder, Homicide, Major Offenders, Polygraph and Bomb Squad.

• All applicants must apply online at www.houstontx.gov (obtain receipt after submission of online application to give to HPD Recruiting Division personnel when turning in other documents).
• All applicants must go to www.hpdcareer.com and complete the Personal History Statement, the Physical Agility Test Self-Evaluation Form, and obtain all required documents for submission (list of required documents can be found at www.hpdcareer.com).

Meet Some of City of Houston's Employees

Jamaica B.

Senior Communications Specialist

Jamaica creates the social media recruitment strategy for the City of Houston and oversees projects related to employment branding, employment collateral, and social media initiatives related to recruiting.

Sindhu M.

Assistant Director Of Houston IT Services

Sindhu manages the City of Houston's Enterprise Resource Planning Software, which is used by all employees in the city. She also oversees the city's Enterprise Architecture.

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