Finding out how to become a Washington County, Arkansas sheriff’s deputy will make you a more informed and ready candidate. Washington County deputy sheriff jobs are competitive, so it is advantageous to be organized and know the application process, which follows these basic steps:
- Complete an application
- Physical agility test
- Background check and polygraph test
- Medical and psychological evaluation
- Departmental experience
- Training academy
Step 1. Complete You Application
The first step towards attaining Washington County sheriff’s department jobs is to complete an application fully and accurately. As obvious as this may sound, many candidates are disqualified from the start because of incomplete applications or failing to meet the minimum requirements for sheriff deputy jobs in Washington County, which are:
- 21 years of age or older
- U.S. citizen
- High school diploma or GED
- Driver’s license
- No felony or domestic violence convictions
- Good moral character
Applications can be found online, filled out Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm in the Washington County human resources office located in Fayetteville, or faxed to the same office at (479) 444-1731.
Step 2. Physical Agility Test
A physical agility test is required before your initial interview and includes the most basic tasks you must be able complete. This test consists of a timed series of sit-ups (25), push-ups (20), and running a short distance (about one mile). Later in the process you will be required to complete a much more intensive physical test, but you will have ample training before this.
Step 3. Interview
This will be your first official interview, conducted by one or more sheriff’s officials to get a sense of your character, intelligence, and interpersonal skills. You will be questioned about your previous employment, academic, financial, criminal, and personal history. During this interview it will be determined if there are any red flags you raise for the sheriff’s department. If successful you will proceed to the next step which involves a more personal and thorough examination of your past.
Step 4. Background Check and Polygraph Test
The sheriff’s department will require you to complete a questionnaire listing your significant relations and family members. You may also be required to list previous employers, traffic violations, criminal history, and financial institutions with which you have dealt. Background investigations usually take a few weeks to complete, and depending on the results you may be required to complete a polygraph examination. Questions asked on the background questionnaire and polygraph are similar, and may include:
- Description of any past illegal drug use
- Elaboration on any illegal activity you have participated in, even if you were not caught
- Causes of strife between you and your significant relations, past and present
- Motivations for wanting to become a deputy sheriff
- Reasons for any defaults or delinquent payments
You should be completely honest and open during this process. Sheriff’s department officials are trying to determine how trustworthy and honest you are, and a large portion of this assessment is not based on your past but instead on how you answer difficult questions in the present. If you are found to have lied or intentionally misrepresented yourself this will be grounds for immediate termination of your employment or application, and may have additional legal ramifications.
Step 5. Medical Exam and Psychological Evaluation
Your medical exam is conducted to assess your overall internal health and ensure you will not experience any immediate future health problems for which the sheriff’s department may be held liable. The psychological evaluation fulfills a similar role and determines the state of your mental health. You must also be in good mental and medical health because sheriff deputy jobs in Washington County are both physically and mentally demanding.
Step 6. Experience within the Department
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department has the policy of requiring prospective deputies to first work in another part of the sheriff’s department. This allows you get a feel of the overall rhythm of the department and get to know your coworkers. An additional reason for this requirement is the low turnover for deputies; initially there may not be an opening and in the meantime you can gain other related sheriff’s department training as a corrections officer or police dispatcher. As a general rule it will be at least six months before you are considered for the sheriff’s deputy training academy.
Step 7. Get Your Training at the POST Academy
Your final step is to complete the Arkansas Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-certified deputy training academy. This lasts a few months and you will live on-location at the academy, being allowed weekend leave. During the academy you will be trained in all the basic skills you will use as a law enforcement officer, including:
- Report writing
- Firearms training
- Legal procedures
- CPR and first aid
- Fitness and agility
- Tactical driving pit maneuver
- Survival skills
You will also be required to meet certain fitness standards but will have ample training throughout your time in the academy to prepare for these. Completion of an obstacle course may also be required that includes:
- Dead-weight drag of 165 pound dummy 15 yards
- Fence jumping
- Stalled vehicle simulation push
- Balance test
- Confined space pursuit
Upon completion of the deputy training academy you may begin your career with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as an Arkansas-certified peace officer.