HPD

FAQs

Is there a deadline to apply and when can I apply for a police officer position?
- There are no application deadlines so you may apply once you have met all of HPD’s requirements. Once you have passed all phases of the application process you will then be scheduled for the next available academy class.


How do I apply to become a Houston police officer?
- There are several phases in HPD’s application process. Click on the Application Process link in the menu bar above to learn more about each phase.


May I apply if I am active duty military?
- You may apply approximately 9 months prior to your ETS/EAS date. You may schedule an interview and bring a letter from your commanding officer with your ETS/EAS date and confirmation that you will be honorably discharged. You will need to supply your DD-214 or NGB-22 forms for all past and current active duty status once they are available, but prior to starting the academy.


Can I apply if I live out-of-town?
- Yes, applicants who reside in the continental United States are encouraged to apply. Please note, out-of-town applicants will be required to travel to Houston two times in order to complete the application process.


Must I meet all HPD requirements?
- Yes, before you apply you should read all the information in the Requirements section.


Must I submit all original documents required and the copies?
- Yes, you must bring all original documents and the proper number of copies to your initial interview.


Must I complete and submit ALL the necessary background history information required on the Personal History Statement?
- Yes, you are responsible for carefully documenting/listing ALL information related to family, employment, residence, and other pertinent data requested for the Personal History Statement. You will be expected to bring this typed, fully completed document along with all other required documents to your initial interview.


Do the 48 hours of college credit need to be in criminal justice or law enforcement?
- No, the credit hours can be in any subject from an accredited college/university.


If I am graduating from college at the end of the semester, when should I apply?
- If you are applying based solely on the education requirement, you will need 48 semester hours of credit, from an accredited college/university with a 2.0 GPA. Once you have the college hours, you can apply. If you prefer to wait to apply until you graduate, we recommend you apply 6 months prior to your graduation in order to be in the next available academy class.


Under the work requirement option, do only law enforcement jobs qualify?
- No, under this requirement, your employment can be in any field. The only requirement is that you have to have worked full-time for 36 months of the last 48 months.


Under the work requirement option, must I have had only one job?
- No, under this requirement, you can have worked for multiple employers. However, your full-time work must add up to 36 months of the last 48 months.


What will I need to verify my employment under the work requirement and when does HPD need the verification?
- Bring employment verification letters from each employer, or their designated vendor, stating you were employed full-time and listing the dates of employment to your initial interview. Failing to do so could result in your being temporarily removed from the application process until documentation is provided. If you are unable to get verification letters from your employers, contact the Recruiting Division.


Do I need to attend HPD’s academy if I graduated from an academy at a university or another agency?
- Yes, upon employment, all cadets attend HPD’s paid training academy.


Does the Houston Police Department have a lateral or modified academy for TCOLE licensed officers?
- Yes. However, there are currently no lateral/modified academy classes scheduled through Dec. 31, 2019. Lateral officers are encouraged to attend a regular academy class. We have regular classes approximately every 3 months. In addition, licensed officers may be eligible for Lateral Pay upon graduation from the academy. For details, visit our Laterals page.


How many academy classes are held each year?
- The number of academy classes varies each year depending on available funding. Five are anticipated for Fiscal Year  2020, beginning July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.


Can I attend college or work a part-time job while I am in the academy?
- No, you may not. As a cadet in the HPD Training Academy you are not permitted to attend college or have employment outside of the academy, even on your days off.


What is HPD’s policy on visible tattoos and/or body art?
- Tattoos and body art will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. However, there shall be no visible tattoos or body art located on the hands, on the neck or above the neck. Tattoos or body art on hands, neck or above the neck must be removed prior to approval for an academy class.


What if I can’t pass the Physical Agility Test?
- If you are unable to pass all parts of the Physical Agility Test, you will not be allowed to continue further in the application process. If you fail your first attempt, you will be scheduled for the next available test date and be given one more opportunity to take the test. If you fail the second attempt, you will be removed from the process and will be ineligible to reapply for three months. You should not submit your application until you feel you can meet all of the physical agility requirements. To measure your current level of physical fitness or to determine whether or not you can pass the Physical Agility Test prior to the testing date, consider participating in the Run with Your Recruiter  events. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONSULT WITH YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN BEFORE YOU BEGIN A PERSONAL PHYSICAL TRAINING REGIMEN T IN PREPARATION FOR THIS TEST.


My credit history is unsatisfactory. Will this prevent me from applying?
- Applicants are required to have a stable credit history, and your credit report will be reviewed as part of the application process. Any accounts that are over 30 days late will have to be made current. In addition, accounts in collections or charged off should be rectified prior to applying, and written confirmation that the accounts have been addressed will be required to continue in the application process. The confirmation letter should be on business letterhead with the applicant’s name, account number and reflect that the account has either been paid in full or is no longer in a delinquent status You will not be able to move on to Phase 3 of the process without addressing these issues.


Can I still apply to HPD if I've used drugs? 
- Drug usage is one of many factors that HPD considers when determining someone's suitability for hire. We understand that some people have experimented with drugs. Every applicant is evaluated on a case-by-case basis with fair application of our policy, which takes all possible variables into consideration. We do not provide details on our policy, therefore you must participate in the application process in order to determine if you meet our minimum requirements. In order to accurately evaluate you as a candidate, we need you to be completely honest with us in response to all questions asked during the recruiting process, including those regarding drug usage.