Northeast Tarrant

This city has a rare opening for a patrol officer. Starting pay? Almost $70,000

Police officers in Hurst get a starting salary of over $69,000 and the city takes pride in paying officers so they don’t go elsewhere.

According to 2016 Census data, Hurst’s population is 39,160, well below its larger neighbors of Fort Worth, Arlington and North Richland Hills, the three largest Tarrant County cities.
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According to 2016 Census data, Hurst’s population is 39,160, well below its larger neighbors of Fort Worth, Arlington and North Richland Hills, the three largest Tarrant County cities.

There isn’t much turnover at the Hurst Police Department, and a starting salary of almost $70,000 may have something to do with that.

In fact, there is one vacant position for a patrol officer, and those who are interested can take an exam at 9 a.m. June 9 at L.D. Bell High School, 1601 Brown Trail.

The starting salary for a Hurst police officer is $69,410, the highest salary among the 10 largest cities in Tarrant County. But it gets even better. If the new officer completes the probation period, the amount increases to $76,003.

Lt. Mark Schwobel, who oversees professional standards for the police department, said the high salary is a nice perk, but officers stay with the city because of the culture within the department and support from residents and businesses.

"The city has always put a lot of emphasis on public safety. Both the police department and fire department enjoy unparalleled support," he said.

Hurst generally hires one or two officers a year.

"We have one or two retire. Very few have left here to become police officers somewhere else."

Schwobel said he started working at the Hurst Police Department 34 years ago. "Much has changed, but the culture has not," he said.

Other cities aren’t far behind Hurst.

Arlington starts officers at $61,991 and Euless follows at $61,795. Euless Police Chief Mike Brown told the Star-Telegram previously that the department adopted a "grow your own" philosophy.

Euless does not want to be a "training ground" and retention is more important than recruitment, he said recently.

"We want someone to be here 20 to 30 years. Bring them in and pay them well, treat them well so that they will stay. Retention is even more important to us than recruitment."

This article includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

The defensive tactics program requires two hours of training every two weeks, much more than many other departments.

Elizabeth Campbell: 817-390-7696, @fwstliz

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