This is a discussion on Difference between TX DPS and PD within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am currently majoring in Criminal Justice and plan to attend the DPS academy in Austin next summer. But can anyone help me decide between ...
I am currently majoring in Criminal Justice and plan to attend the DPS academy in Austin next summer. But can anyone help me decide between the Texas DPS and working for the Austin Police Department. I want a job where I can get into some action and help the normal public aswell. I am afraid if I into the DPS all I will be doing is giving speeding tickets and sobriety tests. And thats not what I want. I want to get out and help.
In DPS you will be running Highway Patrol for at least 3 years, and yes, you will be mainly giving tickets and tests etc. Then again, DWI and speeding drivers kill many many times more people every year than any gun-wielding criminal, so dont think of it as not helping out the public, think of it as keeping some idiot from killing someone elses mother/brother/father/entire family.
After the initial 3 years, there are plenty of opprotunities to transfer into other DPS divisions, and do the same thing local PD's do, just on a bigger scale. There are many many task forces, drug interdiction units, and dont forget the DPS SWAT team, and Texas Rangers. I have a cousin who was an undercover Narc in DPS for several years, and absolutley loved his job. Now he is at the academy as an instructor.
However, APD has a great pay scale, has many divisions, and will insure that you stay local. You will also be able to "work the streets" as opposed to working the highway, and im sure you would see many interesting nights on 6th street.
Basically, take a look at both, ride along with both, and weigh the factors before deciding.
Fear No Evil.
If I were to pursue an LE career I'd go with DPS. In all my interactions with DPS officers over the years, they've been by far, the most courteous and most professional of all.
Sounds like plenty of "action" to me.....
Me too....thats why Im going the DPS route.
Fear No Evil.
NRA Life Member
Northwest Florida Defensive Pistol Shooters Member
Oh I'm sure DPS would be interesting. One of my Criminal Justice professors said I could make DPS as boring or as interesting as I wanted. I am going to apply to the Austin PD academy. It will start in May. I like it better because I will get to come home to my wife every night, I will already know where I am going to live so we can get settled during the 7 month academy, and the pay is very good (1st year as an officer is $44,000 and I could wind up making almost 120,000 or more). I really don't want to get stuck in some podunk town out in west Texas for several years.
I plan on going on multiple Ridealongs with the College Station and Bryan PDs along with DPS.
Dont forget though that as soon as you become an Officer in a local department you will be working graveyard for as long as it takes to gain enough seniority to work a "normal day". DPS has a rotating schedule that allows you to work 2 weeks of days, and 2 weeks of nights on a continously shifting schedule.
Just something else to consider
Fear No Evil.
I had some connections with Austin PD a few years back, so it may be dated info but you may want to check into these points if you havent: Austin was working a 4/10 week with monthy rotation, 3 shifts. Also, be sure to check the overtime situation...DPS may pay in only comp-time vs. Austin has some hefty OT and lots of off-duty gigs. Austin has some liberal politics and politicians that have made it considerably more difficult to police. With DPS, it may be a small "podunk" town, but it may be a much more pleasant and supportive atmosphere. A DPS trooper was the first LEO to get me interested in this job, I did a ride-along at 15-16. Don't ask how many years ago that has been.