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Some Valley Cities Looking to Hire Additional Officers

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HARLINGEN – Several Rio Grande Valley police departments working without a full staff are still looking to hire additional officers.

It’s an issue we’ve followed in the Valley for over a year now. Multiple departments tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS with so many bigger agencies that can offer officers more benefits and pay, keeping them at smaller departments can be difficult

“This market is very saturated with a lot of law enforcement. Right here, this region, we’re at the southern tip of Texas,” says San Benito Police Chief Michael Galvan. “You have your Coast Guard, you have Border Patrol, you have Customs.”

Galvan explains there are several factors that lure both job candidates and his frontline officers away.

“Right now, we have three vacancies in our department,” he says.  

Head west on Business 83 to Harlingen and a billboard tells the same story, “We’re hiring.”

“We have five openings and we’re always looking for good qualified applicants,” Sgt. Parish with the Harlingen Police Department tells us.

That’s at least eight positions in the Lower Valley that need to be filled. La Villa city manager Arnie Amaro tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS they, too, need cops.

“Everybody’s basically competing against each other,” says Galvan. “They’re trying to lure people to their agencies and that’s normal. That’s normal, but with Border Patrol doing a big hiring, DPS doing a big hiring…”

He says it can put stress on smaller Valley cities, which already struggle with enough funding.

“A lot of them can't even afford to have paid staff, they go for reserves,” he explained.

McAllen police tell us they're hiring 16 officers – all from a list of eligible candidates who’ve already passed the department's civil service exam.

If you want to apply for the Harlingen Police Department’s exam, the deadline is May 3 at 5 p.m.

They’ll hold an examination at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 11 at the Community Center located at 201 E. Madison Avenue for qualified applicants. You can pick up an application at Harlingen City Hall on 118 E. Tyler Avenue.

The following are minimum requirements:

  • Be a High School Graduate; or have a GED; or 2 years Military service with an honorable discharge; or have current certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE)

  • Be at least 21 years of age, and not have reached his/her 45th birthday

  • Be a U.S. citizen

  • Be able to read and write the English language

If you have any questions you can contact the department’s recruitment unit at 956-367-5848 or visit their website

For the San Benito Police Department, the deadline to apply is May 11 at 3 p.m. The examination will be held Friday, June 1 at 8:30 a.m. at 210 E. Heywood St in San Benito.

To be eligible for the exam you must be:

  • 21 years old

  • Have a High School diploma or GED

  • Must be able to read and write English language

  • Must meet all requirements necessary to become eligible for future certification by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE)

Pass the agility portion of the exam.

For more information, you can contact the city.

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