Employment FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the Waco Police Department’s recruitment process. If your question is not answered here, please visit our website or contact our Personnel Unit for more information.

Q: What is the age requirement to apply for a peace officer position with Waco PD?

 Age requirements:

i.    Must be at least 20 years of age, or
ii.   18 years of age and have received:
a)    an associate degree; or
b)    60 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university; or
c)     an honorable discharge from the armed forces of the United States after at least two years of active service.


There is no maximum age requirement. 

Q: Do I have to pay a fee to attend the academy?

A: You do not have to pay a fee if you are selected to attend the Police Academy. You will receive a salary while attending the academy and receive benefits as a City of Waco employee.

Q: As a recruit will I live at the police academy?

A: No, the academy is not a live-in academy. You will attend the academy primarily Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (specialized training may be done at night and on weekends).

Q: Do you take lateral transfers or have a modified academy for certified police officers?

A: The Waco Police Department does allow lateral transfers. Everyone hired must successfully complete the same selection process. If you are selected for employment and have a current TCOLE Peace Officer’s License, you may be qualified for the modified (fast track) academy.


Q: How long does the hiring process generally take?

A: The selection process can take up to five months after the civil service entrance exam date. The eligibility list from which we hire from is good for one year.


Q: Can I apply if I have not completed the required 15 hours of college credits at time of entrance exam test date without 2 years military service or 2 years as a police officer?

A: No, all applicants must have completed at least 15 hours of college credit at an accredited institution of higher education with at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; or an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces after at least 24 months of continuous active duty service; or 24 months continuous experience as a paid, full-time police officer.

Q: Does the Waco PD offer a study guide for the Civil Service Exam?

A: Yes. The Waco Police Department does provide a Study Guide for the Civil Service Exam. It is linked below or you can obtain a copy from the Waco Police Department Personnel Unit at no cost.

Study Guide(PDF, 412KB)

Q: As an out of state applicant how many trips will I need to make to Waco during the Hiring process?

A: It depends, but no more than three trips to Waco over the three to five month processing time. We may be able to do everything in two trips but there is no guarantee (there are other factors that must be considered). We have been able to do everything in two trips in the recent past and we are confident that we can continue to do so.

Q: What is the most frequent disqualifier for applicants?

A: The most common reasons for disqualification, aside from the written exam and physical fitness assessment tests, are drug use /experimentation, driving history and being deceptive by statement or omission.

Q: I was discharged with a dishonorable discharge from the military. Can I apply?

A: No, to be licensed as a peace officer in the state of Texas, you must have never received a dishonorable or other discharge based on misconduct which bars future military service.

Q: I was discharged from the military with a general discharge under honorable conditions or uncharacterized. Is this accepted to apply for the Waco Police Department?

A: Yes, you can apply. It is not an automatic disqualifier.

Q: What will happen if I omit important information or found to be deceptive in the hiring process regarding my background history?

A. Honesty and integrity are important values required for Waco Police Officers. If you are found omitting important information or being deceptive you may be disqualified from the hiring process. You must successfully complete a background investigation, which include submitting to a Polygraph in order to continue in the hiring process.

Q: Can I apply if I have used marijuana or other drugs/narcotics in the past?

A: This will depend on the time of the last usage of marijuana or drugs/narcotics. Information regarding a person’s background is handled on a case by case basis. Some drugs/narcotics use/experimentation will be an automatic disqualifier. Contact a recruiter for more information.

Q: If I am active duty military are there any waivers for testing?

A: No waivers are allowed at any time.

Q: How many recruits are usually hired?

A: The number of recruits hired will depend on the number of positions to be filled.

Q: How many academy classes are held each year?

A: The Waco Police Department does not have its own Basic Peace Officer academy. All recruits are assigned to attend the McLennan Community College Law Enforcement Academy (MCCLEA). The number of academies held each year is established by the McLennan Community College. Waco PD does not have recruits in every class. It depends on the vacancies we have.

Q: How many sworn officers work for the Waco Police Department?

A: At this time we are authorized at full strength of 291 police officers.

Q: Are there residency requirements to work for the Waco Police Department?

A: Waco Police Officers do not have residency requirements.

Q: Does the police department have a policy on tattoos?

A: Yes, tattoos, brands or scarifications anywhere on the body that are extremist, indecent, or racist are prohibited. Tattoos, brands or scarifications of initials, acronyms or numbers that represent criminal or historically oppressive organizations are prohibited. Any tattoos, brands or scarifications on the face, head or neck above the shirt collar is prohibited. Any tattoos, brands or scarifications on the hands or fingers that detract from a professional appearance must be covered by cosmetics, clothing, or be removed. Only small innocuous tattoos, brands or scarifications that do not detract from a professional appearance are allowed. Please contact a recruiter for more information, if needed.

Q: Do I need to submit all my documents before testing?

A: We will need a copy of your DD-214 (Member 4 copy – long form), if applicable, with your Preliminary application. The rest of the documents will need to be turned in with your Personal History Statement packet.

Q: Why is a copy of my military discharge papers (DD-214) required?

A: A copy of the military discharge(s) (DD-214) (if applicable) is required as file documentation to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) that you meet the minimum standards for initial licensure. An individual must have never received a dishonorable or other discharge based on misconduct barring future military service.

Q: Can I make copies of originals or certified copies?

A: No, they must be the original or a certified copy. However, if you bring the originals to the Personnel/Recruiting office we will make certified copies and return your originals.

Q: Is it possible to do a ride out with a Waco Police Officer if I am in the application process?

A: Yes, the “Ride and Observe Program” is highly encouraged as part of the selection process. Please contact the Personnel Office for more information.

Q: I need to withdraw from the selection process or I can't make my scheduled testing dates. What do I do?

A: Contact the Personnel Office or the Background Investigator, if one has already been assigned to you.

Q: When I graduate the academy what happens?

A: Upon graduation from the Basic Peace Officer Certification Program at the McLennan Community College Law Enforcement Academy (MCCLEA), the new Waco Police Department probationary officers receive an additional six weeks of in-house training at the Waco Police Academy. Following the inhouse training program, the new probationary officers enter the Field Training Program for 12 weeks to receive one-on-one training. After successfully completing the Field Training Program, probationary officers are assigned to a shift in the Community Services - Patrol Division. Probationary officers lose their probationary status after one year of employment as a commissioned officer.