The Dallas Police Department is recruiting heavily at college campuses, seeking students interested in a career in law enforcement.
The Dallas PD application process includes a preliminary interview, an interview with the police board, a polygraph examination, a background investigation, and psychological and medical examinations.
A physical fitness test is also required. Applicants must go through these tests: vertical jump, bench press, Illinois shuttle run, sit-ups, 300-meter run, push-ups and a one-and-a-half-mile run.
“In my opinion, the hardest part of the fitness test, for women at least, is push-ups,” said Cassie Gentry, police officer for the Oklahoma City Police Department. “We don’t have great upper body strength, but honestly, it wasn’t too hard.”
Nada Marjanovic, a sophomore criminal justice major from Mississauga, Ontario, said she interested in a police officer position.
“I think society is always on the lookout for improving and expanding police officer positions,” Marjanovic said.
With her degree, Marjanovic hopes to improve the community by attending law school when she graduates and wants to become a criminal defense lawyer.
“I do believe it’s a great job,” Marjanovic said. “I would be honored to fill one of the spots to make that one more police officer to help the community.”
Part of the the Dallas PD’s mission statement is “to strive to reduce crime and provide a safe city by recognizing that its goal is to help people and provide assistance at every opportunity.”
“I would jump at this opportunity in Dallas because police officers make a major impact on communities,” Marjanovic said.
Police departments are beginning to notice and take advantage of college students seeking jobs and careers. Jimmy Ellison, Chief of Police for the ACU Police Department, understands the great potential that college students offer to law enforcement.
“Colleges are good recruiting grounds because you typically have more focused individuals and individuals with less criminal issues, especially at ACU,” Ellison said.
Because of the many examinations and background checks, Ellison said ACU students potentially have a better starting point when applying in law enforcement.
“Police departments are having a more difficult time recruiting qualified applicants because fewer and fewer individuals can pass background examinations,” Ellison said.
When Ellison began his police career, he said the application process would begin with 600 possible recruits and narrow down quickly to 100, purely based on the background checks and criminal records.
“A really dumb choice can have a long-lasting impact on your career choice,” Ellison said. “More students on a private, faith-based campus like ACU won’t have that background issue.”
Ellison said law enforcement is a fantastic career option and he wishes more students would consider it.
“It’s one of those jobs where there is never a dull moment,” Ellison said. “You go to work thinking, ‘Wow, are they actually paying me for this?'”
Not only is it a fun career path, but law enforcement has increased its pay over the last 15-20 years. Police departments in Texas start off with an entry-level pay of around $50,000 a year.
“If students would look at the pay scale, job security and potential advancements, it makes no sense why more college graduates don’t look into it as a career choice,” Ellison said.
“It’s a career field that needs people of integrity and people of character, and ACU students are world-renown for that,” Ellison said. “I wish more ACU students would consider it.”
The next onsite testing dates are April 9-12. Applications can be submitted to the Dallas Police Department recruiting website, http://www.dallaspolice.net/recruiting/recruiting.html.
For more information from the Dallas Police Department, visit their website or Facebook page. To contact a recruiter, call 1-800-527-2948.