A new study by Wallethub ranks Texas 8th in the union for best states to become a police officer.
The study factored in opportunity, competition, job hazards, protection and quality of life as model for the study, with Texas in the top 50 percent throughout all criteria, setting the state as a top contender for law enforcement career opportunities.
For the Kyle Police Department, competition in Central Texas for law enforcement positions is an ever-present reality.
Jeff Barnett, Kyle Police chief, said the process to become an officer is demanding, but ensures only the best applicants are selected for the position.
“Despite having openings every few years, we have high standards for new employees and have continued to demand excellence from our applicants,” Barnett said. “Central Texas and Kyle are growing and we want a well-trained police force.”
According to the study, Texas ranks high in competition and opportunity, and within the top four states in highest median income for law enforcement.
Over the past three years, Kyle Police has tested applicants every four months. Of the roughly 60 to 80 applicants per cycle, only three will be hired.
The rigorous program includes written and physical exams, background checks that compile a strict system in determining which officers make the force.
“Citizens want to ensure emergency responders are paid appropriately and the city offers very competitive packages,” Barnett said. “We have a mayor, council and community that have outstanding support for their emergency responders.”
Despite Texas’ competitive nature for law enforcement positions, Barnett said Kyle Police is always accepting applications for potential officers.
Texas ranks third in most law enforcement officers per capita, just behind Washington D.C. and New Mexico.
As one of the fastest growing regions in the state, Central Texans support the need for well-trained officers, Barnett said.
“We demand honor and integrity throughout the process of selecting officers,” Barnett said. We have standards which must be met.”