The Austin Police Department (APD) announced it will begin accepting applications starting April 1, 2011 at 7am. One of the top law enforcement agencies in the nation, the APD encourages all qualified men and women to apply.
According to sources at the APD, there are several benefits to becoming a law enforcement officer. “The potential for advancement is limitless in this field. One major benefit of being a police officer in Austin is that there are many paths that you can take while employed with this agency,” Recruitment Officer Andreana Wesley explained. “Police Officers start off on patrol and they have the option to advance to many specialized units without having to change jobs. This was an important motivational item for me when I considered what agency I wanted to work for.”
There are many positions that Officer Wesley said are considered lateral moves in specialized units. Some of the positions include: Detective, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Commander, and Assistant Chief. “Positions become available on a regular basis. If someone wants a career path that has many opportunities then the Austin Police Department is the place to be.”
“For me, I do not like a job that is repetitious,” Senior Patrol Officer and Background Investigator Myeshia Francis-Parker added. “My job is different everyday, I don’t know what I am going to do when I get into my patrol car and head out of the gates. I encounter A LOT of people—criminals and respectful citizens. We get asked to speak to the youth of the community and if I touch one young person, I feel that I have done a part of my job.”
When asked to discuss the pros and cons of police work, both recruitment officers agree the pros definitely outweigh the cons. “There are pros and cons to any job,” Officer Wesley noted. “Some of the pros of being a Police Officer are that I get to help people at what’s usually a very stressful time of their lives. I try to restore peace to chaotic situations. This gives me a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction at the end of the day.”
Officer Francis-Parker continued, “The biggest pro is helping people. I love what I do in that aspect. Some people look up to us as role models. I have changed the lives of people around me and helped them go from doing the wrong thing to being an asset to our community.” As for the cons, Officer Francis-Parker said, “On the other side of that, we as police officers, have to take away people’s freedom (place them in jail) when the law is violated. Sometimes that is hard but we have a job to do.”
According to Lieutenant Art Fortune and Sergeant Francisco Rodriguez, Austin Police Officers enjoy a very competitive salary and benefits package along with a lower cost of living compared to other cities. The recruitment website notes that Austin Police Officers also enjoy the benefits of working for a large growing city with many options for career advancement and diversity.
The Austin Police Department will start accepting applications April 1st, 2011 for an anticipated Spring and Fall 2012 cadet classes.
The APD’s recruitment website also notes that all eligible Military Personnel will receive a monthly GI Bill stipend of up to $1400 for up to 12 months and will accrue 21 college credits from Austin Community College upon completion of the police academy.
For related questions, please call (512) 974-4211, (800) 832-5264, or fax (512) 974-4212, Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 3:00 pm or visit the Recruiting Office at 1520 Rutherford Lane Bldg. # 3, Austin, Texas 78754. To mail documents to the recruiting office, the mailing address is P.O. Box 689001, Austin TX, 78768.
The Austin Police Department is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For more information and complete requirements of the application process, visit http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/police/recruiting/.
By Michelle Keller