Do you have what it takes?


The Center Police Department strives to obtain the best law enforcement officers possible to help achieve the department's policing goals.  To that end, the department shall practice a regimented, rigorous selection procedure while simultaneously affording equal opportunity to everyone regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or age.  The department does not discriminate against people with disabilities and affords them the same access to employment provided to all persons.  All personnel who participate in screening and hiring applicants shall be guided by fairness, equal opportunity, and consistency in applying the procedures set forth.


The purpose of this policy is to outline the minimum hiring requirements and selection process for police officers and non-sworn members of the department.


Disability - A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.

Good moral character - The attributes of a prospective employee that enhance his or her value to the department and the goals of community-oriented policing which include honesty, integrity, truthfulness, obedience to the oath of office and the code of ethics, respect for authority, and respect for the rights of others.

Qualifications for Employment

The minimum qualifications that all applicants for the position of police officer must meet including:

Age of 21;
High school graduate or GED;
Pass a background investigations;
Pass a polygraph test:
Pass an oral interview;
Pass a physical examination, psychological screening, and drug test;
Be of good moral character, and;
Any other standards set by law or by policy of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Disqualifiers for Employment

The following are absolute disqualifiers for employment as a sworn officer:

Conviction or admission of any felony;
Conviction of any Class A or B misdemeanor in the past 10 years;
Conviction or admission of any illegal drug use within the past 5 years, or use of marijuana within the past 2 years;
Conviction of family violence within the past 10 years;
Dishonorable discharge from the United States military;

Application Process for Sworn Personnel

The applicant must complete the following:

1.  Complete a written city application and personal history statement and submit it to the Chief of Police.  Copies of the following documents will also be submitted:  birth certificate, driver's license, high school diploma or transcript, or GED certificate, credit report no more than 90 days old, any college transcripts, copy of military discharge papers (if applicable).

2.  Arrange with the Chief of Police to take the written test and appear for other selection process steps.

Selection Process for Sworn Personnel

The Chief of Police, or designee, will review the application and documents for basic qualifications.  If basic qualifications appear to be met and an opening exists, the Chief assigns an officer to conduct a preliminary review of the candidate and schedules appropriate testing.  If no opening exists, the application will be placed in a file to await an opening.  When an opening occurs, the applicant will be contacted to determine if they are still interested in the position.

The employee assigned to conduct a preliminary review of the applicant shall perform the following:
Obtain the applicant's driving record from DPS;
Request records checks from the applicant's previous communities;
Obtain a criminal background check;
Conduct an interview before an interview board;

The Chief of Police will meet with the applicant who best meets the needs of the department and conducts a detailed interview with the candidate.  If the Chief approves, he or she will issue a conditional offer of employment. 

© City of Center  |  City Hall 617 Tenaha Street Center, TX 75935-3552  |  Phone: (936) 598-2941