Cadet/Police Officer

General Qualifications

An applicant seeking to be employed as a cadet must meet the minimum standards for appointment required by the Texas Occupations Code, Texas Administrative Code, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), the UT System Police Policies and Procedures and if applicable, the standards for the regional police academy they may be attending, to include:

  • 21 years of age on or before commissioning date
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • United States citizen
  • Meet physical, mental, and educational standards established by the Office of the Director of Police and TCOLE
  • Valid Texas driver’s license with a satisfactory driving record that meets or exceeds UT System policy and standards
  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass a physical agility test
  • Pass an oral interview board
  • Pass a thorough background investigation that includes a local, state, and national criminal history check based on fingerprints, credit check, polygraph examination, medical examination and drug screening, and psychological examination

Other Information

All successful candidates are required to comply with all UT System Police or departmental policies, procedures, and directives as well as the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System.

Work is performed under the general supervision of the chain of command for the UT Southwestern Police Department, typically that of a Police Sergeant. Supervision is usually available in person or by radio. Work requires the ability to make frequent minor decisions and occasional decisions of some significance. Work is reviewed for completeness, accuracy and compliance with departmental policy and procedure.

The Police Officer position is essential to providing critical functions for UT Southwestern.

  • Continued employment is contingent upon successful completion of the Basic Peace Officer Course (BPOC) conducted by one of several Regional Training Academies, which includes the passing of the TCOLE licensing examination within 15 calendar days after completion of the Basic Peace Officer Course.

Lateral Police Officer

An applicant seeking to be employed as a police officer and laterally entering into and joining the UT System Police must meet the minimum standards for appointment required by the Texas Occupations Code, Texas Administrative Code, TCOLE, and the UT System Police Policies and Procedures. Applicants for the position of police officer must have successfully completed a Basic Peace Officer Course approved by the Office of the Director of Police and passed the TCOLE licensing exam.

Candidates must meet all of the general qualifications listed above and are subject to the same background check. Lateral Police Officers do not need to take a written examination.

Candidates seeking to join the UT System Police as a sworn officer and who have served honorably as a peace officer or equivalent designation in another state or within federal/military law enforcement (as provided for by TCOLE) are required to meet all applicable TCOLE requirements including successful completion of the TCOLE course 1018, Supplemental Peace Officer Course and then successfully pass (challenge) the current Texas peace officer licensing examination. As a matter of ODOP/UTSP Policy, the process enumerated above shall be completed within 180 days of initial employment.

Shift Assignments

  • Officers may be assigned to any one of three shifts, working days or nights, with varying days off throughout the week.
  • Officers may be required to work overtime assignments.
  • Shift assignments or overtime assignments may include working holidays or weekends.
  • Assignments are subject to change at any time depending on the needs of the Department.

Working Conditions

  • Indoor assignments typically require the officers to patrol the campus facilities on foot. Occasionally an officer assumes a fixed post assignment. Any indoor assignment may require standing, sitting, or walking for lengthy periods of time.
  • A motorized patrol vehicle typically performs outside patrol assignments. Officers are routinely exposed to inclement weather conditions for lengthy periods of time.
  • Because of the nature and scope of law enforcement, work does involve a degree of hazard.

Regional Police Academy

The UT Southwestern Police Department partners with several regional training academies to provide basic peace officer training to future officers. Students receive intensive training in a variety of subjects, which include but are not limited to: applicable state laws, criminal investigations, use of force, search and seizure, personal defense and firearms training, emergency vehicle operation, crisis intervention training, and de-escalation techniques.

Uniforms, Equipment, Per Diem, and Lodging

The UT Southwestern Police Department issues most of the uniforms, equipment, and classroom supplies. Cadets must purchase some training-related clothing such as sweat pants, T-shirts, shorts, and running shoes as specified by the academy.

Assignment and Field Training

Upon successful completion and graduation from a Regional Training Academy or upon hiring of a lateral police officer, the new officer will be assigned to a shift and a Field Training Officer (FTO). The new officer will then undergo approximately three months of training with the FTO. The FTO assists the officer with the final phase of his or her training by observing and evaluating the new officer's progress and performance on a daily basis.

If the new officer successfully completes the Field Training and Evaluation Program, he or she is then assigned to a shift and placed on regular status.