How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Alabama

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

There are several steps to go through to become a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy. The first is to ensure you meet the basic minimum requirements. Step two is to fill out an online application. Step three is to complete the deputy training academy after hearing back from the human resources department that your application was successful. Upon completion of the academy deputies begin their first job assignments.

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Learning how to become a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy starts by reviewing the steps you’ll take to satisfy the stated candidacy requirements:

  1. Verify eligibility
  2. Complete an application
  3. Pass physical agility test
  4. Attend the Alabama Police Officer’s Standards and Training (APOST) Academy

Step1.  Verify You Meet the Basic Requirements for Jefferson County Sherriff Department Jobs

The initial minimum requirements you must meet for Jefferson County sheriff’s department jobs are:

  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 21 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Driver’s license with a good driving history
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Be a moral and stable person
  • Pass a drug, physical, and knowledge test
  • Be able to communicate in on paper and in person
  • Honorable military discharge, if applicable

Step 2.  Complete an Application

After being sure you meet the initial requirements, your next step is to fill out an online application, which can be accessed through the Jefferson County personnel board’s website. Applications for Sheriff’s deputy jobs in Jefferson County are only accepted online, and candidates can also fill out an online application at the personnel board’s office in Birmingham.

Step 3. Pass Physical Agility Test

After hearing back from the Jefferson County Personnel Board that the initial deputy sheriff application was successful, you will be in contact with human resources about completing the Alabama Police Officer’s Standards and Training (APOST) Academy where you will be required to pass a physical agility and knowledge tests.

The physical agility test will be administered on the first day of the academy, and if necessary, retesting will take place 72 hours later. To complete the physical agility test you must be able to accomplish the following five tasks:

  • Pushing: Push a patrol vehicle on level ground a distance of 15 feet. The vehicle will have one officer inside, be on level ground, and in neutral gear.
  • Climbing: You must choose to climb a six-foot fence that is either wood or chainlink. You will first run 50 yards and then climb over one of the fences using any method you choose.
  • Window Entry: You will first run 50 yards and then step through an obstacle with an opening that is 24 inches wide by 24 inches long.
  • Balance: You must first run 25 yards, then step onto a six-inch wide beam that is one foot off the ground, and continue walking across the beam for 15 feet, whence you will jump back to the ground.
  • Weight Drag: You will first run 25 yards and then drag, pull, or lift a dummy weighing 165 pounds a distance of 15 feet.

Step 4.  Attend Alabama Police Officer’s Standards and Training (APOST) Academy

Your sheriff deputy training at the APOST Academy will include the basic 480-hour basic minimum standards curriculum and specialized deputy sheriff’s curriculum lasting 160 hours. There are several hotels that provide lodging during the APOST Academy within a 5-minute walking distance.

The 480-hour minimum standards training course includes:

  • Forensic sciences
  • Jail Management Certification from the Alabama Jail Association
  • Combat shooting
  • Defensive driving/pit maneuver
  • Chemical weapons certification
  • Radar certification
  • Shooting course to measure reaction time
  • Specific legal issues
  • Court services including security, civil processes, warrants, family court, arrests, daily routine

Madison County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Researching how to become a Madison County, Alabama Sheriff’s Deputy is the beginning of a successful application process. The application process involves several steps, which must be completed sequentially:

  1. Meeting the basic requirements
  2. Physical Test
  3. Interview
  4. Background Investigation and Polygraph Test
  5. Medical and Psychological Evaluation
  6. Ride-Along
  7. Training Academy
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Step 1. Basic Requirements for Application

Before you turn in your application, make sure you meet the basic requirements for Madison County deputy sheriff jobs:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Misdemeanor convictions will be reviewed case by case
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Relatively clean background
  • Driver’s license
  • Willingness to work 24 hours on-call
  • Military discharge papers, if applicable

Step 2. Physical Test

After you have submitted a full and complete application you will be contacted to schedule a physical agility test. All Madison County sheriff’s department jobs require this test, which is meant to simulate situations you will face on the job as a sheriff deputy. Before you move on to the next stages of the application process you must pass the physical test which includes timed events of:

  • Sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Running
  • Sprinting

Step 3. Interview

Upon successful completion of your physical agility test you will appear before a panel of Madison County sheriff’s department officials for an interview to determine if you are a good fit for the job. You may be asked about your past employment performance, your personal relationships, or given scenarios you may face as a sheriff deputy and asked to provide an explanation of what you would do in such situations. Topics covered in this interview may be revisited during your polygraph interview.

Step 4. Background Investigation and Polygraph

If your interview goes well you will move on to complete a polygraph test after an investigator has thoroughly examined your background. The background investigation may include:

  • Statements from friends and family
  • Interviews with ex-spouses
  • Employment, financial, criminal, and driving history

Your polygraph examiner may ask you details about these aspects of your background, or cover subjects such as previous illegal drug use and crimes you committed but for which you were never caught. It is always better to be honest and disclose everything than to have the sheriff’s department discover you hid something or lied. If you are found to be untrustworthy this will disqualify you for Madison County deputy sheriff jobs.

Step 5. Final Procedures

Once you have reached this stage of the application process there are only a few more formalities to go through before you can be eligible to begin the training academy. You will have a psychological examination to determine you have stable mental health and a medical checkup to ensure you are healthy with no pre-existing conditions. Once you have completed these you are ready to begin training.

Step 6. Ride-Along

You will need to obtain certification from the Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training (APOST) Academy, though because the academy only takes place a few times a year you will be assigned to patrol duty as a trainee with a more experienced deputy until the APOST Academy begins. If the academy begins soon after your ride-alongs, you will attend the academy and resume additional weeks of ride-alongs upon your graduation to gain experience.

Step 7. Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training (APOST) Academy

At the APOST Academy you will learn all the basics you will need to prepare you for your job as a Madison County Sheriff Deputy. The academy lasts 12 weeks and will provide you with 480 hours of training. You will live on-site at the academy and be allowed weekend leave from Friday evening until Sunday night. You will receive training in the areas of:

  • Report writing
  • Legal procedures
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Self-defense
  • First aid and CPR
  • Driving and pit techniques

You will additionally receive fitness training and be required to complete a physical agility test. This is designed to simulate situations where you will need to chase suspects over difficult terrain and other job-related scenarios. You will have 90 seconds to complete each event:

  • Pushing: You must push a patrol vehicle on level ground a distance of 15 feet.
  • Climbing: You will choose between climbing a six-foot wooden or chain-link fence after running a distance of 50 yards.
  • Window Entry: You will run 50 yards and climb through a space that is 24 inches by 24 inches.
  • Balance: You will make your way across a beam one foot off the ground and six inches wide. You will first run a distance of 25 yards, climb onto the beam, and continue another 15 feet before dismounting.
  • Weight Drag: In this task you will drag a dummy weighing 165 pounds a distance of 15 feet.
  • You will also be required to complete a physical ability test including 22 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run.

Mobile County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Learning how to become a Mobile County, Alabama deputy sheriff before you apply will help you to be a stronger, better-organized candidate. The application process for Mobile County deputy sheriff jobs involves the following steps:

  1. Qualify and apply
  2. Writing test
  3. Interview
  4. Polygraph, medical exam, and background test
  5. Training academy
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Step 1. Ensure you meet the qualifications when you apply

Mobile County sheriff’s department jobs have certain minimum qualifications you must meet to be considered for the position. These are:

  • U.S. citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • At least 21 years old
  • Alabama driver’s license (or ability to obtain one upon hire)
  • Military discharge papers, if applicable
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Some previous law enforcement experience or education in this field are also beneficial

Once you have confirmed you can provide the following paperwork to support these minimum qualifications, you will submit an application to the county personnel board. These may only be submitted online, and only when there is an opening for sheriff deputy jobs in Mobile County. You must be careful to submit a completed application with all attached and required paperwork, because once you submit it to the personnel board you may not edit or add material to the application. Incomplete or withdrawn applications will not be considered and you will have to wait until the next recruiting period to apply again.

Step 2. Writing Test

Upon receipt of your application the personnel board will administer a writing test. Once you pass this test if there are no current openings for Mobile County sheriff’s department jobs you will be placed on a waiting list until you are chosen for an interview by the sheriff’s department. When you are selected from this list the sheriff’s department will notify the personnel board and your additional evaluations will be carried out with the sheriff’s department.

When you are selected from the personnel board’s waiting list, your training with the sheriff’s department will include everything from classroom textbook reading to ride-alongs with other deputies. However you will first need to begin with a sheriff’s department interview.

Step 3. Interview

Now is the time when you will answer your first questions posed by sheriff’s officials. The questions will regard your previous employment positions, motivations that cause you to want to become a deputy, what you hope to get out a career serving as a deputy sheriff, and may include questions about past illegal activity in which you have been involved. Basically the sheriff’s officials are trying to determine if you have any serious issues that would prevent you from excelling as a deputy sheriff.

Step 4. Polygraph, Medical Examination and Background Check

Shortly after your interview you will be asked to undergo a polygraph test, which will focus on, but not be limited to, subjects relating to:

  • Previous jobs
  • Personal relationships, past and present
  • Financial history including any overdrawn accounts, bad debts, or bounced checks
  • Previous illicit drug use or other illegal activity, including that for which you may not have been caught or convicted
  • Questions relating to your moral character

Your background check may take several weeks to complete and involves an investigator interviewing your previous employers, friends, family, and in some case, detractors. Finally a medical examination will be completed to ensure you are in top physical shape to continue on to the Mobile County deputy training academy. At this point you will given an official offer of employment, conditional on your successful completion of the training academy.

Step 5. Training Academy

The Mobile County Sheriff’s Deputy Training program is an Alabama-certified Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) academy. The program is full-time for 19 weeks in Jacksonville, with time off given on the weekends. You will live on site and complete training in:

  • Driving tactics and the pit maneuver
  • CPR and first aid
  • Legal standards and procedures
  • Report writing
  • Self-defense
  • Firearms
  • Logistics coordination
  • Tactical situations

As part of the training academy you will be required to complete a physical agility examination designed to simulate on-the-job scenarios, which include:

  • Pushing a patrol vehicle 15 feet on paved, level ground.
  • Climbing a six foot tall fence made either of wood or chain-link, after having a running-start of 50 yards.
  • Climbing through a two-foot square opening after running 50 yards.
  • Running or walking across a balance beam six inches wide and 15 feet long.
  • Dragging a 165-pound weighted object a distance of 15 feet.

Your training academy also includes a physical ability exam, requiring:

  • One minute to complete 22 push-ups with good technique
  • One minute to complete 25 push-ups with good technique
  • 15 minutes and 28 seconds to complete a 1.5 mile run

Upon graduation from the academy you will be ready to begin your job as a Mobile County sheriff deputy. Depending on your experience you may be paired with a training officer who will continue to provide on-the-job instructions.

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