The responsibility of a deputy sheriff or sheriff’s deputy is to enforce local, state and federal laws in a particular area or county. Deputy Sheriffs serve the public by preventing crime through the use of methods that include basic investigations, maintaining safety and security, arrests, patrols, testifying in court and supervision of detainees.
Deputy Sheriffs work in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies. Below are what to learn and the steps to follow to become a deputy sheriff.
If you want to become a deputy sheriff, you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent to be qualified to write civil service exam whose results can grant you admission into a training program to become a deputy sheriff.
Additionally, a 2-year associate degree or even a 4-year bachelor’s degree in any relevant field is an added advantage. Such relevant fields include criminal justice, law enforcement and management, behavioural science, psychology and public speaking, forensic science and so on.
Apart from the basic educational requirements above, there are other requirements:
Be a US citizen: Only a qualified US citizen can run for the office of deputy sheriff.
Be above 18 years of age: Despite differences in age limitation in the US across states, being over 18 years of age is when you can apply to become a deputy sheriff in any county.
Live in your area of residence: You can only become a sheriff in the area or county you live in.
Be in excellent health: A sheriff undergoes psychological and physical strain on duty. So, your health mentally and physically must be great; for a good sense of judgment, critical thinking, stress management skills, and physical fitness.
Steps To Become A Deputy Sheriff
If you are qualified based on the basic requirements above, then your next steps to becoming a Deputy Sheriff would be going directly into training.
Be a Graduate from a Police Academy: Though some counties offer training programs, most counties only take sheriffs that graduate from a police academy. A police academy trains students on the basic skills of a deputy sheriff and their law coursework cover topics such as witness questioning techniques, traffic laws, Crowd control, constitutional law, use of firearms, arrest procedures, etc.
Get experience in a Law Enforcement Sector: Once you have graduated, get an opportunity to work in the law enforcement department and gain valuable experience for the position of a deputy sheriff in the future.
Leadership Opportunity: You might get a chance to be at the head of a small department temporarily. That’s an opportunity to take advantage of and display your leadership skills as a potential deputy sheriff.
Certification and Licensure: The requirement for licensing and certification would depend on your state. Your work duration and performance in a series of tests as a potential officer among other factors will count here.
Apply for work as a deputy sheriff: If you meet these requirements, apply to run for the office of deputy sheriff. Your application will have you do a physical fitness exam, background check, an interview, and a written exam.
Your application file must consist of the relevant paperwork required. Some counties elect their sheriffs and others simply get theirs by appointment. If it’s an election, prepare yourself to campaign in your county.