The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is looking for a few good police officers to join the ranks of Texas Highway Patrol troopers. The DPS announced a new program under which currently certified peace officers can apply to be enrolled in a special accelerated course. The program is in response to Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to hire an additional 500 troopers to increase border security.
Successful applicants will be enrolled in an eight week “Advanced Commissioned Trooper Trainee School” that is scheduled to begin June 21. The normal DPS academy is more than twenty weeks. Graduating troopers will be assigned to DPS Regions 3 and 4 along the Texas/Mexico border.
“We know that there are highly qualified Texas peace officers who may be interested in becoming Highway Patrol Troopers,” said Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas DPS, in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “DPS values the expertise and training these professionals possess, and this new recruit school is an excellent opportunity for current law enforcement officers to join DPS.”
During Gov. Abbott’s February 17th State of the State Address, he called on the Texas Legislature to double the budget currently allocated for securing the Texas border region. Part of his border security program calls for hiring 500 new troopers to augment the law enforcement presence along the border.
“We cannot be naïve to the threat posed by drug cartels, transnational gangs and human smuggling and traffic operations,” Abbott affirmed. “In the face of such evil, we cannot respond with apathy, but resolve.”
The Governor explained that the first step in securing the border is enforcing the rule of law. He cited Monday night’s court decision that put a stop to the lawless actions of President Barack Obama. “I’m happy to report that late last night a federal judge halted the President’s executive action plan,” Abbott declared. “In Texas, we will not sit idly by while the President ignores the law and fails to secure the border.”
To be eligible for this accelerated academy, applicants must be American citizens who hold a current and valid Peace Officer License issued by Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) as a Peace Officer. The applicant must also have two years of full-time patrol experience. Time served as a reserve officer will not be counted towards this accelerated program that is designed to put new troopers along the border as soon as possible.
Officers with an out of state commission will not be accepted for this school. All applicants must meet other eligibility requirements, including being at least 21 years old by the time they graduate from the academy. Additionally, applicants will be required to successfully complete a physical fitness test, written examination, a polygraph examination, background investigation, board selection interview, psychological examination, physical/vision examinations, and a drug screen.
The new troopers will be paid an annual salary of $39,366, or $3,280.50 per month.
The class of new troopers is scheduled to graduate on August 14th. More information about this program can be found on the Texas DPS website. The DPS will also continue to recruit non-certified peace officers to attend the regular DPS academy.
Bob Price is a senior political writer for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.