Top 13 Best Police Departments in Texas for 2023

Choosing a police department to work for is an important decision that those who is considering this profession should take seriously.

Police departments offer various benefits and salary options, along with different types of working environments that suit everyone’s needs.

In this article, we will list the top 13 best police departments in Texas based on cost of living, quality of life, diversity and overall well-being.

What are the best police jobs in Texas?

It’s a question that is often asked but not easily answered. The best police jobs in Texas vary depending on what you are looking for in a career.

Some people might prefer to work in a smaller town while others may want the excitement of working in a large city.

Some police officers might also be interested in finding a department with good benefits, while others might be more concerned about the cost of living in that area.

No matter what your priorities are, we have compiled a list of the top 13 best police departments in Texas.

This list was created based on metrics such as the cost of living, diversity, quality of life and overall well-being of the city.

1. Plano Police Department

What we like: Plano is the ninth-largest city in Texas. Plano features many Fortune 500 companies, and an active arts community.

What we don’t like: It’s really expensive to live there.

Location: Plano, Texas

The City of Plano is the ninth largest city in the state of Texas and boasts a population of over 278,000 residents.

The Plano Police Department (PPD) is a nationally accredited and progressive law enforcement agency that employs over 400 sworn and civilian personnel.

The PPD has been featured in the national news media for its use of technology in law enforcement and for its proactive crime-fighting initiatives.

Plano is a prosperous city with a low crime rate, and the PPD is proud to be part of it.

The department enjoys good community support and has a cost of living that is slightly above the national average.

Overall, the PPD is a great department to work for and would be a great fit for anyone looking to relocate to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

2. Irving Police Department

What we like: Irving is a safe city with great schools.

What we don’t like: It can be expensive to live there.

Location: Irving, Texas

The City of Irving is the 13th largest city in Texas and has a population of over 230,000 residents.

The Irving Police Department (IPD) is among the 20 best police department agencies to work for in Texas.

The IPD offers many benefits including tuition reimbursement, generous leave time and health and wellness programs.

The IPD is also a great place to live, with a low crime rate and good schools. However, Irving can be expensive to live in.

The Irving Police Department is a nationally accredited law enforcement agency that employs over 400+ sworn and civilian personnel.

3. Austin Police Department

What we like: Austin is a very diverse city with plenty of things to do.

What we don’t like: The cost of living can be high.

Location: Austin, Texas

The City of Austin is the 11th largest city in the United States and has a population of over 950,000 residents.

The Austin Police Department (APD) is the largest municipal police department in Texas and one of the largest in the country.

The APD is also a CALEA accredited agency and has been recognized as a “Gold Standard” law enforcement agency.

Austin is an extremely diverse city with plenty to do, making it a great place to live and work.

In addition, Austin was recently named the best city in America for young professionals by Forbes.

4. Dallas Police Department

What we like: Dallas is a huge city with plenty of opportunity.

What we don’t like: Crumbling or missing sidewalks

Location: Dallas, Texas

The City of Dallas is the ninth largest city in the United States and has a population of over one million residents.

The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is the third largest police department in the country and employs nearly 4000+ sworn officers.

The DPD is also a CALEA accredited agency and has been recognized as a “Gold Standard” law enforcement agency.

Dallas offers officers plenty of opportunity for career growth and advancement.

In addition, the cost of living in Dallas can be expensive, but the average salary offered by DPD is relatively solid.

5. Houston Police Department

What we like: Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country.

What we don’t like: Traffic can be a nightmare.

Location: Houston, Texas

The City of Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and has a population of over two million residents.

The Houston Police Department (HPD) is the fourth largest police department in the country and employs over tons sworn officers.

Houston offers officers great opportunities for career advancement with its many specialized teams, including SWAT teams, motorcycle units, dive team and mounted patrol.

Officers also enjoy state-of-the art training facilities, along with a Police Academy that is one of the best in the country.

Houston also enjoys a relatively low cost of living, although salaries are not as high as some other departments on this list.

6. San Antonio Police Department

What we like: San Antonio is a great city for a diverse background.

What we don’t like: Low salaries compared to the cost of living in the area.

Location: San Antonio, Texas

The City of San Antonio is the seventh largest city in America and has a population over one million residents.

The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) is the second largest police department in Texas and employs over 2300 sworn officers.

San Antonio offers great opportunities for career advancement with its many specialized teams, along with state-of-the art training facilities.

Officers also enjoy a competitive salary when compared to other departments on this list, although the cost of living in San Antonio is relatively high.

The SAPD has been recognized as one of the best police departments in the country for its commitment to diversity and community policing initiatives.

7. El Paso Police Department

What we like: El Paso is the safest city of its size in America.

What we don’t like: Low salaries compared to other Texas cities on this list.

Location: El Paso, Texas

The City of El Paso is located near New Mexico and has a population over 600,000 residents.

The El Paso Police Department (EPPD) is the fifth largest police department in Texas and employs over 900+ sworn officers.

El Paso offers great opportunities for career advancement with its many specialized teams, including a SWAT team and mounted patrol unit. Officers also enjoy state-of-the art training facilities as well as competitive salaries when compared to other departments on this list.

While the cost of living is relatively low in El Paso, wages offered by EPPD are not as high as other cities on this list.

8. Corpus Christi Police Department

What we like: Corpus Christi has a great coastline and offers officers plenty of opportunity for beach time.

What we don’t like: Not the most diverse city in Texas.

Location: Corpus Christi, Tx

The City of Corpus Christi is located near the Gulf of Mexico and has a population over 300,000 residents.

The Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) is one of the smallest police departments in Texas with just under 700 sworn officers on staff.

Corpus Christi offers its officers low cost housing options as well as competitive salaries when compared to other cities in Texas on this list.

However, it should be noted that CCPD does not offer many opportunities for advancement.

Corpus Christi is a great place to live and work, with its miles of coastline and beaches. Officers also enjoy the city’s low cost of living.

9. Fort Worth Police Department

What we like: Fort Worth is the 12th largest city in the United States.

What we don’t like: The cost of living is high.

Location: Forth Worth, Texas

The Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) serves a population of over 900,000+ residents making it the 12th largest city in the United States.

FWPD is a nationally accredited agency with a staff of over 1500+ sworn and civilian personnel.

The department has an annual budget of several millions of dollars and offers many benefits to its employees such as health, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance, along with a 401(k) retirement plan.

In addition, FWPD officers receive a competitive and enjoy an excellent cost of living when compared to other major metropolitan cities.

The department also has a diverse workforce with a healthy portion of their employees identifying as minorities.

The Fort Worth Police Department is a great place to work and offers many benefits to its employees.

10. El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

What we like: El Paso County is one of the most diverse counties in America.

What we don’t like: Low salaries compared to other cities on this list.

Location: El Paso, TX

El Paso County has a population over 800,000+ residents and offers a great quality of life in a community-oriented environment.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) is the fifth largest sheriff’s office in Texas and employs over 800+ sworn officers.

EPCSO offers its deputies plenty of opportunity for advancement with specialized teams, state-of-the art training facilities, and a competitive salary when compared to other departments on this list.

El Paso County is one of the most diverse counties in America and offers great career opportunities for those who love diversity.

11. Lubbock Police Department

What we like: Lubbock has 11 colleges and universities that offer competitive salaries to officers.

What we don’t like: Diversity is not one of Lubbock’s strengths.

Location: Lubbock, TX

The City of Lubbock is located in the South Plains region of Texas with a population over 250,000+ residents.

The Lubbock Police Department (LPD) is one of the smaller police departments in Texas with just under 600 sworn officers on staff.

Officers enjoy competitive salaries when compared to other cities on this list as well as opportunities for advancement with specialized units like SWAT and traffic enforcement team along with state-of-the art training facilities.

As with most cities in Texas, Lubbock is a relatively safe place to live and work but does not offer the diversity that many other departments on this list do.

12. McAllen Police Department

What we like: Competitive salaries when compared to other cities on this list.

What we don’t like: McAllen is not as diverse as other cities on this list.

Location: McAllen, TX

The City of McAllen has a population over 140,000+ residents and is located in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas.

The McAllen Police Department (MPD) is one of the larger police departments in Texas with over 800 sworn officers on staff.

Officers enjoy competitive salaries when compared to other cities on this list as well as opportunities for advancement and specialized units like SWAT, K-nine unit, traffic enforcement team, and more.

McAllen is a great place to live and work but does not offer the diversity that many other departments on this list do.

13. Odessa Police Department

What we like: Odessa is a safe city to live and work in with a population over 120,000 residents.

What we don’t like: Odessa does not offer the diversity that other cities on this list do.

Location: Odessa, TX

The City of Odessa is located in West Texas and has a population over 120,000 residents.

The Odessa Police Department (OPD) is one of the smaller police departments in Texas with just over 200 sworn officers on staff.

Officers enjoy competitive salaries when compared to other cities on this list as well as opportunities for advancement and specialized units like SWAT, K-nine unit, traffic enforcement team, bicycle patrol unit, community policing teams along with state-of-the art training facilities.

Odessa is a safe city to live and work in and offers its officers a good quality of life.

The only downside to Odessa is that it doesn’t have the diversity that some of the other cities on this list do.

However, if you are looking for a smaller department with great training facilities and competitive salaries, the OPD may be a great fit for you.

Final Thoughts

Finding a job in law enforcement can be difficult, but it is definitely worth the effort.

When considering a career in law enforcement, it is important to think about what you value most in a job.

Do you want a large department with plenty of opportunity for advancement? Or would you prefer a smaller department with a great quality of life?

These questions are important to ask yourself when looking for the right police department.

No matter what your preference, there is a police department that can provide you with the benefits and salary that fits both your lifestyle and career goals.

FAQ About Police Officer Jobs in Texas

Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about pursuing a career in law enforcement in the great state of Texas.

Q: What are the entry requirements for a police officer job in Texas?

A: In order to be considered for a police officer job in Texas, you must be at least 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and possess a valid driver’s license.

Q: What is the salary range for police officers in Texas?

A: The starting salary for a police officer in Texas ranges from $45,000 to $70,000+ per year.

This all depends on the city or county you work in, your rank, and whether or not you’re willing to work overtime when its available.

Q: What are the benefits of becoming an officer in Texas?

A: There are many benefits to becoming a police officer in Texas.

For one, the starting salary is competitive and allows officers to support their families without sacrificing quality of life or well-being.

Another benefit of becoming an officer in Texas is that you’ll have opportunities for advancement with specialized units like SWAT and traffic.

Q: What is the cost of living like in Texas?

A: The cost of living in Texas varies depending on the city you live in. However, most cities have a lower cost of living than other states in the country.

Q: What are the cities with some of the best police departments in Texas?

A: The top five places to work as a police officer are Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

These city’s all have competitive salaries when compared to other states in the country along with great opportunities for advancement like specialized units or earning a bachelor degree.

Q: What is the climate like in Texas?

A: The climate in Texas varies depending on what region you are in. However, most of the state has a temperate climate with hot summers and mild winters.

Q: What is the diversity like in Texas?

A: The diversity in Texas is one of its strongest assets.

People from all walks of life come to this state for work, education, and a better quality of life.

With many different cultures around the country moving to Texas every day, it’s important police departments are able to provide equal opportunities for people regardless of their background or ethnicity.

Q: Can you tell me about the training I would receive if I became a police officer in Texas?

A: In order to become a certified law enforcement officer in Texas, you must complete an accredited academy.

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) oversees the academies and provides accreditation for those that meet their high standards.

Once you complete an academy, you will be required to complete many hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain your certification.

If you have any other questions about becoming a police officer in Texas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a recruitment officer at the respective agency you’re interested in.

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