The Lubbock Police Department has narrowed down the list of officer applicants to 230. That's down from the 865 who applied. The process to find the most qualified recruits is a vigorous one.
Michael Farre came from Wichita Falls to work for LPD. He was one of 418 people that showed up to take the written exam. "It's a good paying job. Where I'm from they start at $21,000 to $24,000 here is better."
NewsChannel 11 wanted to give our viewers an opportunity to see how our law enforcement officers are chosen, so we took both the written and physical tests. The written test was timed with three different sections: basic math, reading comprehension and punctuation and spelling. Farre said, "The test wasn't bad." The test is a basic skills test. You need a 70% or better to pass. 334 people passed the written test. I was one of the ones that made the grade.
The next part was the obstacle course. The course consisted of running, climbing stairs, dragging a 180 pound dummy, using a handcuff simulator, and hopping over a four foot fence all while carrying an extra 20 pounds. You have to complete the course in under one-minute and 51 seconds. I finished in one minute and 28 seconds.
Farre said, "I was glad we didn't have to run three miles. It wasn't real easy but it wasn't too bad."
304 people made it through the written and physical tests, but only 230 got their personal history statements in on time for phase two; background checks, polygraphs, and interviews.
To compare salaries, Lubbock recruits start at just over $37,000 a year. Amarillo starts at $34,000 a year. Midland was the highest paying department at nearly $48,000 a year. All of these cities pay more than the state's largest city. Houston only pays its starting officers $28,000. Dallas pays $38,000.