In these challenging economic times, where several employers are making cutbacks and consolidating, the Austin Police Department is currently recruiting and encourages all qualified applicants to apply.
Applications are available for download for cadet classes starting in December 2012, April 2013 and August 2013. APD will continue to accept applications until all testing dates are full. Testing dates are now posted on the web site(http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/police/recruiting/) for testing in 2012.
The Austin Times recently spoke with Sergeant Francisco Rodriquez along with a few cadets in training. “I have been with the Austin Police Department for 18 ½ years, Rodriquez said. “The top three advantages of my career are helping others, working with community, and last but not least my salary and benefits.”
As for advancement potential, Rodriquez offered, “I am currently a Sergeant and have been for a little over two years. I worked as an officer for eight years, as an investigator for eight years before promoting to a Sergeant. Advancement from one rank to the next is really up to the person. Some offices have promoted after only five years on patrol and stopped at the investigative rank whereas others have promoted after five years on patrol and have advanced to higher ranks to include the commander’s rank. Advancing in the department is really up to the individual. If you apply yourself, prepare and study for promotion then you will promote.
The Sergeant encourages those who are afraid to apply. “Don’t be scared to apply,” he explained. “No one is perfect! Every officer in uniform has made mistakes in their lives. Underneath the uniform is another person who deals with the same issues as everyone else in life. I am an individual of minority as well who grew up with hand-me-downs, food stamps, in the projects and for a long time the only thing that stopped me from succeeding was “me”. If you have made mistakes, stop making them, and then come see us. You won’t regret it, and that’s a promise!
In reference to the advantages of becoming an APD officer, he noted, “You gain a HUGE family, an outstanding salary, benefits, and retirement program; and the opportunity to serve your fellow man. Pride is a large part of the package; you will be a part of a program installed to protect the weak and among Austin’s finest!
“Being an officer for the number one Police Department in the country is something that I never, ever imagined, EVER! It is an honorable profession and department in which someone like me can climb the ladder of success. I would encourage everyone interested in becoming a police officer to apply.”
Among the new cadets we spoke with, Maris Heyward said, “Since becoming a part of the APD, I have received a lot of useful training and learned that being the best requires a commitment both mentally and physically.” Having previously worked with another law enforcement agency, Heyward offered special encouragement to minorities. “I have not seen any other department that is as diverse as the APD. I believe that a diverse department is essential for a diverse community.
Cadet Norbeto Gonzales added, “The City of Austin is a very diverse community, so it is critical for minorities to join the ranks of such a professional and prestigious organization. The citizens deserve to see that the multicultural reach goes beyond the community and into organizations that are responsible for its safety such as the APD.”
Cadet Mand Nova concluded by saying, “If this is a career that you want and dream of doing, then do it. Do not let race, gender, or anything else stand in your way.”
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.
By Michelle Keller