HIRING OF SWORN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
All applicants meeting the minimum eligibility requirements will undergo a series of testing and evaluation. Each phase of the testing and evaluation process must be completed and passed before proceeding to the next phase of the testing and evaluation process. Each phase of the testing and evaluation process is rated on a pass or fail basis only. There will be no ranking system based on individual scores obtained during the tests. A passing score qualifies each applicant to progress to the next test and finally to the back ground check. The final hiring decision will be based on the information obtained during the background check, and the applicant’s performance during the interview session. Prior to any testing, each applicant must show proof that they currently possess a current and valid Peace Officer license issued by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education.
Testing and evaluation phases
(1) Written Examination
A written examination is administered to all applicants. The examination is about two hours in length. A driver's license with photo is required for admission to the test.
The entrance exam is a basic writing and reading comprehension test. To proceed to the next evaluation phase, each applicant must score a 70% or better on the test.
(2) Physical Ability Test
Applicants will be required to complete a test measuring general physical ability.
General physical ability is tested in order to determine readiness to perform the strenuous and critical physical tasks of the job.
Six specific and different areas of physical fitness will be tested to determine an applicant’s capability to do the job. They include:
1. Aerobic power or cardiovascular endurance. This is having an efficient heart and cardiovascular system so that you can perform physical tasks over a sustained period of time. It is an important area for performing job tasks such as participating in foot pursuits and long term use of force situations.
2. Anaerobic power. This is having the ability to make short intense bursts of effort and is an important area for performing job tasks such as short sprint pursuit situations.
3. Upper body absolute strength. This is having the upper body strength to make maximal efforts against a resistance and is important for performing physical tasks that require lifting, carrying and pushing.
4. Upper body muscular endurance. This is having the capability to make repeated muscular contractions with the upper body without getting fatigued and is important for use of force job tasks.
5. Leg explosive strength or power. This is having the capability to jump with power and having the ability to make short intense bursts of effort. It is an important area for performing job tasks such as jumping over obstacles and sprinting in pursuit situations.
6. Trunk or abdominal muscular endurance. This is having the
capability to make repeated muscular contractions with the abdominal area
without getting fatigued. Your abdomen is the fulcrum of your body and is
important in tasks involving lifting, pulling and dragging.
Measurement of physical fitness
There are five (5) physical fitness tests that will be given in one day as a battery of tests (there will be rest periods between each test).
1. Vertical jump test. This measures leg power. The test measures how high the applicant can jump from a standing position. Correct vertical jump form must be performed: (1) Applicant stands with one side toward the wall and reaches up as high as possible to mark standard reach on the yardstick; (2) Applicant keeps at least one foot stationary on the floor prior to jumping and then jumps as high as possible and marks the spot on the wall above the standard reach mark. Score is the difference between the standard reach and top of the jump mark, to the nearest ˝ inch. The best of three trials is the score.
2. 1 minute sit up test. This measures the abdominal or trunk muscular endurance. Correct sit-up technique must be performed: (1) Applicant starts by lying on back, knees bent, heels flat on floor, with fingers laced and held behind the head; (2) The administrator or assistant holds the feet down firmly; (3) Applicant starts test in the down position, lying on back; (4) Applicant performs sit-up by raising shoulder blades from floor, sitting up, and should touch elbows to the knees and then return down with shoulder blades touching the floor. This is one repetition. Applicant has one minute to perform test and complete the required number of sit-ups. Applicant should rest in the up position. Applicant may not pull on the head or neck and the buttocks must remain on the floor with no thrusting of the hips.
3. 300 meter run. This measures anaerobic power or the ability to make an intense burst of effort for a short time period or distance. The test consists of sprinting 300 meters as fast as possible.
4. Maximum push up test. This measures the muscular endurance of the upper body. The test consists of doing as many push ups from the front, lean and rest position with no time limit. Correct push-up technique must be performed: (1) Applicant lies face-down on floor; (2) Hands are placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart with fingers pointing forward; (3) Feet are together with toes pointed down toward floor; (4) Applicant starts test in the up position (elbows extended) with back straight at all times; (5) Applicant bends arms and lowers body toward floor until the chest touches a 3-inch sponge; (6) Applicant returns to the up position. This is one repetition. Resting should be done only in the up position. Modified pushups with the knees on the ground are not allowed.
5. 1.5 mile run. This measures aerobic power or cardiovascular endurance (the ability to have stamina over time). The test consists of running as fast as possible the distance of 1.5 miles. Applicant will have a mandatory cool down of walking for about 5 minutes immediately after the run.
The Physical Fitness Test standards are as follows and an applicant must pass each test prior to moving to the next phase of the hiring process.
Vertical jump – Minimum of 12 inches
1 minute sit up – Minimum of 20
300 meter run – Maximum of 82.9 seconds
Push ups – Minimum of 13
1.5 mile run – Maximum of 17:00 minutes
Each applicant that has passed the prior phases will be provided with a background check packet. Each applicant will be required to complete the packet and return it to the police department prior to the deadline date issued by the department. The Police Department will conduct a thorough background investigation. All information will be confirmed. Omissions or falsifications are grounds for rejection.
Applicants with acceptable backgrounds will be interviewed for the position of Police Officer by an interview panel. This panel will consist of at least three members but not more than five. The panel will recommend the three (3) top candidates to the Chief of Police.
Conditional Job offer
The Chief of Police will make the final hiring decision. Once a decision is made the applicant will receive a conditional job offer. The conditional offer of employment is conditional upon passing a drug screen, medical evaluation, psychological evaluation, and firearms qualification.