Lateral Entry

We value service experience! If you're currently employed with a law enforcement agency and you meet the minimum requirements, you are not required to take a written exam, perform a physical assessment or attend a police academy. Requirements are broken into two groups: Lateral Entry 1 and Lateral Entry 2.

Starting salary
Starting salary is determined by your training and experience. Most lateral entry applicants will start in the $90,000 range. If it’s determined you’re ready during field training, you can be released in as few as 10 weeks. If you need the full 17 weeks, they’re always available.

Once you’ve completed your one-year probation, you’re eligible to try out for most of our specialized assignments. You may try out for our SWAT Team once you're released from training.

If you are TCOLE certified (or have started the process), but don’t meet our lateral requirements, testing is done by appointment. You will not have to wait for the next recruit exam to start the process.

Requirements for Lateral Entry 1

  • At least 3 years of continuous service as a paid full-time peace officer
  • At least 2 years of patrol experience to include enforcing laws, investigating crimes, making arrests and carrying a firearm
  • Current employment with a municipality, sheriff's office or department of public safety with at least 60 sworn officers and a population of at least 50,000 people; or, a break in service of no more than 1 year
  • No pending disciplinary actions or investigations for misconduct/criminal activity
  • Out-of-state officers must be TCOLE certified before starting the application process. Learn more

The Chief of Police or his designee will make the final determination about whether an applicant meets eligibility standards.

Hiring process
Lateral officer applicants participate in a thorough hiring process. Generally, two trips to Allen are necessary to complete this process.

  1. Obtain TCOLE certification, if necessary
  2. Apply online
  3. Submit a personal history statement and preliminary interview packet
  4. Preliminary interview
  5. Oral board
  6. Polygraph
  7. Background check
  8. Psychological exam
  9. Medical and drug screen
  10. Final interview with Chief of Police or his designee

Requirements for Lateral Entry 2

  • Currently employed in a department with 175 officers or more and serve a population of at least 150,000
  • Minimum 5 years experience with at least 2 years in patrol
  • Completed a minimum of a 12-week field training program
  • Currently employed with a department that meets these requirements
  • No pending disciplinary investigations or lawsuits

Hiring process
Prior to, or upon applying, applicants should contact TCOLE to begin the test-out process. Applicants will need to provide a letter from TCOLE with clearance to take the state exam one month prior to their start date.

  1. Apply online
  2. Submit a personal History Statement and Preliminary Interview Packet
  3. Preliminary interview
  4. Oral board
  5. Polygraph
  6. Background check: Includes a visit to your current department
  7. Psychological exam
  8. Medical and drug screen
  9. Final interview with Chief of Police or his designee

Lateral 2 applicants will receive 5 days of TCOLE prep and two attempts at passing the exam.

  • Week 1: You'll have 5 days to prepare for the TCOLE exam including hands-on instructional prep.
  • Week 2: You'll have two attempts to pass the TCOLE exam. If you do not pass the first attempt, you'll receive instruction in the areas you had difficulty with. You'll then have your second attempt later in the week. If you do not receive a passing score on your second attempt, you'll be separated from the department.