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General Questions

What is the EPPD tattoo policy?
All police department personnel must maintain standards of appearance that project a professional image to the public and are appropriate to the general work environment. The display of any tattoo, regardless of its depiction or physical location, is prohibited.

What if I already have tattoos before I joined the department? Do I have to cover my tattoos in the academy?
Employees who have obtained tattoos prior to the effective date of this order must conceal the tattoos to the greatest extent practical by use of the authorized uniform, a naturally colored concealing device, or clothing items.

With my military experience, will I earn extra money in the EPPD? or can my military time go towards my EPPD retirement?

Can I still join EPPD if I have PTSD?
Yes, during the hiring process you will be administered a medical and psychological test to determine your suitability.

Can I still apply if I have a medical condition (e.g. diabetes)?
Yes, during the hiring process you will undergo a medical examination to determine your suitability.>

Can I become a police officer if I am color-blind?
Yes, during the hiring process you will undergo a medical examination to determine your suitability.

Is the department accepting lateral transfers?
We are not accepting lateral transfers at this time.

If I had a DWI years ago, can I still join EPPD?
Every situation is different and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Academy Questions

Can I wear makeup in the academy?
The use of make-up is prohibited while attending the academy. Upon graduation make-up, if worn, will be conservatively applied in shades complementary to natural skin tones. The wearing of false eyelashes is prohibited.

How short does my hair have to be while I attend the academy?
Male Hair - When in uniform, hair will be cut or styled so that it does not extend below the middle of the ear on the sides or below the top of the collar in the back. Depth of hair will be no more than two inches at any point. Hair must be kept neat and may not impede the proper wear of uniform caps. Hair color will be of a natural appearance. Hairpieces or wigs may be worn in compliance with the above guidelines. *The Academy can modify how they want you to wear your hair.
Female Hair - When in uniform, hair will not extend below the shoulders, including when hair is worn up in a bun, ponytail, or similar style. Hair will be kept in a manner that is neat, secure, and does not impede the proper wear of uniform caps. Hair color will be of a natural appearance.

Are males allowed to wear beards or goatees?
Officers will have a clean-shaven face. If a mustache is worn, it will be neatly trimmed, not extending below the upper line of the top lip or beyond the corners of the mouth. Sideburns will be neatly trimmed, straight, and above the middle of the ear.

What do I need to buy if I am accepted into the academy? Do I need to buy a gun?
Upon acceptance to the academy, you will be given a list of items that you will need to purchase. Please do not buy a firearm until you are in the academy. The academy staff will advise you as to what type of gun you will be allowed to carry per policy. The Training Director may further restrict the choices of handguns for recruits, transition courses, and lateral hires.

Can I still work another job or attend school/college while in the academy?
You may not work or attend school while in the academy or during your probationary period.

Do you have a maximum age limit?
We do not have a maximum age limit to join EPPD.

Can I apply if I am a resident (non-citizen) of the United States?
No, in order to join EPPD you must be a U.S. citizen or naturalized citizen per TCOLE.

How soon may I promote to Detective status, transfer to SWAT, and so on?
Different units have different requirements for transfer or promotion. You will have to complete your one-year probationary period.

If I have a special trade or degree, can I get a better position or make more money?
The department offers incentive pay for individuals with a degree.

May I have weekends and holidays off while attending the academy?
During your time in the academy, your schedule will usually allow for weekends and holidays off, but this is subject to change due to various training. Upon completion of the academy, your days off will rotate and may change as determined by the needs of the department.

Are female recruits required to do the same physical training as their male counterparts?
All recruits must complete the same physical training while attending the academy.

Do females work unaccompanied?
All officers may be required to work alone at various shifts of the day.

Can I join a specialized unit (such as Narcotics, Gangs, etc.) and bypass patrol?
There is no option to bypass patrol, regardless of any previous experience you may have. You may transfer or promote after patrol. There will be different seniority requirements depending on the unit you wish to go to.

If I have experience, (e.g. military K-9) can I start directly on a K-9, SWAT, etc. unit instead of patrol?
You may not bypass patrol, regardless of your previous experience. You may transfer or promote after patrol. Depending on the unit you wish to go to, there will be different seniority requirements for joining.

If I had a prior arrest, how will it affect me in the hiring process?
Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How long does the academy last?
The academy lasts for a duration of 7 and half months, or 30 weeks.

How much will my pay be while attending the academy?

Is the police academy a live-in academy like DPS or TDCJ?
EPPD academy is not a live-in academy.

Do I have to live at the academy for the entire 7 and a half months?
You will not reside at the academy.

If I complete the academy, can I go work in my home state?
No; upon completion of the Academy, you will have obtained a Peace Officer License for the State of Texas. Each state has varying requirements that may not apply to your home state.

Do I need to be a certain height to join EPPD?
EPPD has no height requirement.

How can I promote?
GRADES P6 AND BELOW. Promotions to grades P6 and below are made from eligibility lists determined by promotional examinations, assessment centers, and seniority. Eligibility lists are developed and maintained by the City Personnel Department. GRADES P7 AND ABOVE. Promotions to grades P7 and above are made by appointment of the Chief of Police. These promotions are exempt from competitive examination. Rules governing these promotions are found in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Will the department allow me to attend school?
Upon successful completion of the probationary period, officers are encouraged to attend a college or university accredited by TCOLE (Texas Commission of Law Enforcement). It is mandatory for an officer to have at least 45 credit hours after 3 years in the department.

Will I have to sign a contract binding me to serve for a certain number of years?
There is currently no contract of employment requiring commitment to the El Paso Police Department.

What will my hours be while attending the academy?
While you are in the academy, your schedule will vary but you will usually work an 8-hour day with an unpaid 30-minute lunch.

How much do I have to pay to enter the academy?
There is no fee for attending the El Paso Police Academy other than the money required for purchasing various equipment. While attending the Academy, you will receive $16.60 an hour.

If I had a “Top Secret Security Clearance” in the military, will I still have to undergo a background check for EPPD?
Yes, all police applicants will receive a complete background check.

If I completed a polygraph with another agency, will I still have to take one with your department?
Yes, you will still be required to complete a polygraph as part of the application process.

May I still apply to EPPD if I lived in a state with legalized marijuana and used it legally there?
Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

What is the department’s drug policy?
Applicants are highly encouraged to disclose any and all drug use. Drug use is not necessarily an automatic disqualifying factor; however, lying about it is.

Would I have to disclose expunged incidents to apply to EPPD?
Please speak with your attorney for legal advice regarding your case.