The Texas Rangers are the oldest law enforcement agency in America. As part of the Texas Department of Safety, Texas Rangers typically investigate major crimes. In order to become a Texas Ranger, an applicant must meet all basic requirements to be employed by the Texas Department of Safety (TDS) and, in fact, be employed by the TDS. In addition, an applicant must have at least eight years of experience in law enforcement investigating major crimes with an excellent service record, as well as pass the entrance examination and background check.
Before an applicant can become a Texas Ranger, he or she must be employed by the TDS with a status of at least a Trooper II and have at least eight years of verifiable experience with a law enforcement agency. The applicant must also demonstrate extensive experience in major crimes investigation. Basic requirements in order to become a Texas Ranger also include United States citizenship and a valid Texas driver's license with no restrictions, as well as being at least 20 years of age and having the equivalent of at least 90 semester hours of college credit. If an applicant does not have the required college credit, up to 36 months of military or law enforcement experience may be substituted.
An applicant who aspires to become a Texas Ranger must also pass a thorough background check. The background check must reflect good moral character and habits. The selection process into the Texas Rangers is very competitive and an applicant with anything questionable on his or her background check is unlikely to be invited to continue in the process. Applicants will then be given an entrance examination with those scoring the highest continuing on to an oral interview before the Board.
If selected to become a Texas Ranger, training will be required. In addition, all Rangers must complete and additional 40 hours of training every two years. Applicants are encouraged to plan ahead and apply early, as there are typically many more applicants than are needed for positions that become open with the Rangers.
The Texas Rangers were formed before Texas was even part of the United States. The original 10 Texas Rangers were employed in 1823 after permission from the Mexican government was granted to form a group to watch over the fledgling Texas territory. Since then, the Texas Rangers have grown to include approximately 150 carefully chosen Rangers whose duties include major incident crime, serial, officer involved, and public corruption investigations, as well as border security.