- Minimum Requirements - Ensure you meet all requirements before submitting the registration application.
- Registration Application - The process involves first completing an online employment application to register for the Police Officer Entrance Exam. When this process is complete, you will be provided with a confirmation email. Until you receive this email, the process is not complete and you are not registered.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT COVID-19
The City of San Marcos participates in social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Please stay home if you have symptoms, are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, or have been advised to self-quarantine. Candidates will adhere to social distancing guidance before, during, and after the written examination. Visit: http://www.sanmarcostx.gov/279/Coronavirus-Information-and-Prevention for the most up to date City information.
- Civil Service Examination - This is a written test consisting of multiple choice questions covering subjects such as cognitive skill, reading comprehension, and memory skills.
A study guide is available for purchase through the Public Safety Compass.
Applicants who have a score of 70 or more may receive an additional 5 points for either two years prior civilian law enforcement experience or two years prior honorable military experience. Supporting documentation must be submitted in the application process prior to taking the entrance exam to receive additional points.
- Physical Fitness Assessment - The duties of law enforcement officers requires a high level of physical fitness and readiness to meet the demands of the job. SMPD has adopted one of the methods used by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to assess officer and candidate fitness and readiness.
To perform this assessment, we use Concept 2 Rowers for candidates to complete a 2000- meter row. This activity measures the candidate’s VO2max, which is used to determine the ability of the candidate to meet this fitness requirement. During the assessment, the candidate will be required to row 2000 meters at maximum effort at the 60th percentile. The required performance standard is determined based on the candidate’s gender, weight and age. The DPS has validated the percentile at which we assess both officers and candidates. Note: The row machine tension will be set at five (5).
Concept 2 Rowers are an effective tool to assist you in achieving high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. Concept 2 Rowers actively engage both hemispheres of the body (upper and lower body) and do not place any impact on joints. In order to row effectively, correct form must be utilized. Please see The Rowing Stroke video for tips on how to increase cardiorespiratory fitness utilizing the Concept 2 Rower. Common errors seen on the Concept 2 rower are highlighted in the Common Rowing Technique Errors video.
How to Train for the 2000 Meter Row Evaluation
It is important to train in a progressive manner. The following handouts are designed to assist you with training to meet the standard:
- Training on the Concept 2 Rower (PDF)
- Concept 2 Tabata Sprint Training Package (PDF)
Additional Rower Workouts can be found on the Concept 2 Website.
The calculator below will be used to assess candidate row time.
How to use the Time and Percentage Calculator (PDF):
A. Click on the Time and Percentage Calculator;
B. Use the drop down boxes on the chart in the following areas to enter your information: (Highlighted in grey)
a. Select Gender
b. Enter Weight in Pounds (lbs)
c. Select Age
The calculator will give you the time you have to complete the 2000-meter row at the 60th percentile.
- Personal History Statement - The police officer 2022 Personal History Statement (PHS) is the key document for our background investigation of police applicants. It is recommended that you begin completing this document as soon as possible. The following documents may be required to complete the personal history statement: Birth certificate, naturalization documents, high school transcripts, diploma or GED, College/university transcripts and diplomas for all schools attended, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, peace officer license, driver’s license and military discharge DD-214. Review and read ALL instructions before starting to complete the Personal History Statement. The personal history statement will be due on Friday, September 23, 2022 by 5:00PM (statements received after 5:00PM will not be accepted) from candidates successfully passing the written test and physical agility test. The PHS application needs to be a Word document. Do not convert it to a PDF. Please email your completed PHS to
- Background Investigation - Family members, references, acquaintances, past employers and co-workers are interviewed, and a review is conducted of military and school records, driving records, credit history, and any other area the investigator deems appropriate.
- Polygraph Exam - This interview is typically conducted by the SMPD polygraph examiner
- Oral Interview Board - The interview panel is composed of 5 officers from various assignments around the department including the Chief or his representative, as well as a civilian panel member and a representative from Human Resources. The candidate will respond verbally to questions asked by the members of the panel which are designed to allow the panel to determine the communication skills, qualifications and character of the candidate. Questions asked during the interview will range from situational-based topics to questions arising during the background investigation.
- Conditional Offer of Employment - A conditional offer of employment will be made to applicants who pass the oral interview.
- Psychological Exam and Interview - A psychological examination is a TCOLE requirement. We use an independent psychologist for this examination.
- Medical Exam / Drug Screen - A pre-employment physical is required for this position. The examination will be performed by a city selected licensed physician.