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Dallas Police Department

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The Dallas Police Department is the major law enforcement agency serving in the city of Dallas, Texas. The department is headed by Chief of Police David O. Brian. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration as well as a Master of Business Administration degree in Strategic Leadership. Chief Brown is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, Senior Management Institute for Police, the National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Tel Aviv, Israel and the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Seminar in Washington, D.C. He also holds Master Peace Officer and Police Instructor certifications from the State of Texas.

His department comprised of over 4200 employees (3600 of which are sworn employees). The department consists of an annual budget of $410 million dollars. There are seven operations divisions based on geographical subdivisions of the city. Each operations division is commanded by a deputy chief of police. The divisions are designated Central, Northeast, Southeast, South Central, Southwest, Northwest and North Central and operate from facilities which are referred to as substations. Each operations division’s geographical area is further subdivided into sectors which are composed of beats, each of which is normally patrolled by a uniformed officer or officers in a marked Police car.

In serving the people of Dallas, the Dallas Police Department believes in reducing crime and providing a safe city by:

  • Recognizing that its goal is to help people and provide assistance at every opportunity;
  • Providing preventive, investigative, and enforcement services;
  • Increasing citizen satisfaction with public safety and obtaining community cooperation through the Department’s training, skills, and efforts; and
  • Realizing that the Police Department alone cannot control crime, but must act in concert with the community and the rest of the Criminal Justice System.


Members of the department who are Captains and below are protected by the city’s civil service system with promotion based on the results of competitive examinations. Senior corporals typically are officers who serve either as field training officers in the Patrol Division or who serve as detectives in one of the department’s investigative units. Majors, Deputy Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs are appointed by the Chief of Police without examination and do not hold civil service protection for these ranks.

Division Commander and Bureau Commander are non-civil service titles based on assignments. Members may hold both assignment titles and civil service or appointive ranks simultaneously. On Thursday, October 4th, 2012, Chief David Brown created a new major rank in between captain and deputy chief.

The Dallas Police Department was established in 1881 when the first Chief of Police, J.C. Arnold, was elected.  He was the longest serving chief of police but before that an elected Town Marshall and deputies had guarded Dallas since 1856.

The area, known as Dallas – Fort Worth or as the “Metroplex” is a sprawling urban area that encompasses 12 north central Texas counties and is home to thirteen incorporated, inter-connected cities with a population of 200,000 or more residents according to the “Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Urbanized Area 2008 Estimate”

General basic eligibility requirements for initial appointment as a police officer in Texas, as established by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education, also known by the acronym TCLEOSE  however include the fact that the applicant must be between ages 21 and 44. He or she must possess a high school diploma, GED or have at least 12 college semester hours. The applicant must not have any felony convictions or convictions above the grade of a Class B misdemeanor, convictions for domestic violence offenses or convictions for any Class B misdemeanor offense during the 10 years preceding application.


The applicant must also be physically and psychologically sound with no drug dependency or illegal drug use. He or she must be a U.S. citizen and qualified for a driver’s license during military service with the United States Armed Forces, the applicant should have been honorably discharged.


Initial training for officer recruits begins with attendance at a basic police academy. Larger departments in the Dallas – Fort Worth area  operate in-house police academies. Smaller departments utilize cooperative regional academies to train new peace officers like the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Police Academy, in Arlington.

It mandates a minimum number of hours of academy training hours but the length of basic academies vary depending on whether an in-house or regional police academy is attended.

At their department, following the police academy, new officers are assigned to the field training program under the direct supervision of an experienced Field Training officer (FTO). The length of field training varies by department..

After successful completion of a basic police academy and upon achieving a passing score on the Texas basic peace officer certification written test, newly graduated police officers become licensed peace officers with basic state certification.

The starting salary for police officer trainees in 2010 was $41,690. After training, additional pay incentives are available that increase monthly salary like advanced education, language translation and shift differential pay, to name a few.

Dallas police officers earn between 15 and 23 days of paid vacation annually (depending on their years of service), nine paid holidays and 96 hours of paid sick leave each year.

Group health insurance, life insurance and retirement plans are provided for Dallas police officers.

Dallas has its own police retirement plan while smaller cities participate in the Texas Municipal Retirement System.


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