Polk County Sheriff Department Jobs

The Polk County, Iowa Sheriff Department provides law enforcement services for Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, and unincorporated Polk County, which includes Grimes, Alleman, Elkhart, and Bondurant. If you are interested in joining this dedicated group of professionals, here is some information to help you pursue a Polk County Sheriff Department job.

  1. Preferred qualifications
  2. Application
  3. Civil Service Examinations and Testing Process
  4. Law Enforcement Training


Step 1. Preferred Qualifications

Before going on to learn how to become a Polk County sheriff’s deputy, be sure you meet the following basic criteria:

  • Possess a high school diploma or a GED
  • Be 21 years of age
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Possess or obtain a valid Iowa driver’s license
  • Never been convicted of a serious crime.
  • Good vision, including night and peripheral vision
  • Pass physical and psychological standards determined by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy
  • No use of marijuana within two (2) years and other drug use within three (3) years of application

Step 2. Application

The Polk County Civil Service Commission, in cooperation with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, handles testing and recruiting candidates for Deputy Sheriff. The Civil Service Commission will post announcements online and in news media for important dates of the open hiring period, including all deadlines for applications, and dates and locations of testing.

You must submit a completed application, including certified copy of your birth certificate and high school and any college transcripts, current photograph and military form DD-214 (if you performed military service) prior to testing.

Step 3. Civil Service Examinations and Testing Process

Here are some of the examinations you must successfully complete and pass to be considered for a Polk County Deputy Sheriff job. After completing and passing each test, you will be notified of the dates, locations and any requirements for the next examination in the process.  If at any point you do not pass one of the tests, you will be notified. The entire process may take six (6) months or more.

  1. Physical fitness test and fingerprinting. The Civil Service Commission will advertise online at least 30 days prior to the testing, along with important deadlines. The physical fitness examination will include performing sit-ups, push-ups, a 1.5 mile run and sit-and reach testing.
  2. Written Civil service examination
  3. Polygraph
  4. In-person Civil Service Commission interview
  5. Background investigation
  6. Psychological examination (The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory  or MMPI) and interview with psychologist to discuss your results
  7. Physical examination performed by the Polk County Health Department
  8. Interview with Polk County Sheriff Department

Step 4. Law Enforcement Training

The Polk County Sheriff Department will interview from a list of candidates provided by the Civil Service Commission and make the final selection. After receiving an offer of employment as a deputy sheriff, further training to prepare you for your duties as a deputy sheriff will be scheduled through the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Training Division.

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