Deadline for applications is Jan. 4 for Texas residents

Submitted Report, The Freer Press

The Department of Public Safety is now accepting applications for anyone interested in becoming a state trooper, but the deadline is approaching fast.

The application deadline for Texas residents is Jan. 4 and is Dec. 28 for out-of-state applicants.

The recruit school will begin March 30 in Austin.

"We need applicants to help us fill positions created by the Legislature for border security and commercial vehicle enforcement," said DPS Director Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr.

"Our intern program allows recruits to earn money right away after they are accepted while they wait for the class to begin-and it helps them get acclimated with different areas of the Department."

Information is available through a toll-free number, 1-866-TXTROOP (898-7667), that rings directly into the recruiting office at DPS Headquarters in Austin.

Additional information is accessible on the DPS Web site, and application packets can be picked up at any DPS office.

"Diversity is important to DPS. We encourage minorities and women to consider a law enforcement career with the Department," said DPS Recruiting Coordinator Lt. Phillip Ayala.

Graduates are initially assigned as uniformed officers in one of several services.

After gaining experience, troopers can compete for a variety of assignments in the Texas Highway Patrol, Criminal Law Enforcement, Driver License, Administration and Texas Ranger divisions.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 20 years of age and have completed approved Associates Degrees or 90 hours of college credit.

Law enforcement, jailer or military experience may be used toward fulfilling the college requirement.

Each applicant's background will be carefully scrutinized, including prior criminal history.

They will also be required to submit to a polygraph examination, psychological examination and physical readiness test.

DPS is an equal opportunity employer.