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How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Arizona

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Learning how to become a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy involves following some basic steps and completing a variety of tasks:

  1. Meet the minimum requirements for an application
  2. Attendance of orientation and registration
  3. Initial physical exam
  4. Polygraph and background examination
  5. Attend a training academy

Step 1: Basic Requirements and Application

The first step is meeting the basic requirements for Maricopa County deputy sheriff jobs:

  • At least 21 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Driver’s license may not have been suspended in the past year
  • No extreme or recent drug use
  • No misdemeanor convictions within three years
  • No felony convictions
  • Honorable discharge from the military, if applicable
  • Notarized waiver and release form

Once you have satisfied the basic requirements you will fill out an application in full, keeping in mind that you must be honest and you will be required later in the application process to complete a polygraph test. You must submit the application by the stated deadline, and if successful, you will be contacted about the starting date of orientation. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department jobs are open to anyone regardless of race or gender.

Step 2: Orientation

Attendance of an orientation for sheriff’s deputy jobs in Maricopa County follows a successful application. Here you will be scheduled for your physical agility exam, written test, background interview, polygraph exam, psychological testing, and medical screening, completing these procedures in the order listed.

Step 3: Initial Physical Exam

If you are a new recruit without prior certification your initial physical exam will consist of:

  • A 1.5 mile run completed in 15.3 minutes
  • 27 sit-ups
  • 18 push-ups

Step 4: Polygraph and Background Investigation

For your polygraph test, you will be asked questions regarding:

  • Traffic citations in the past 10 years
  • Previous encounters with law enforcement, including being questioned about or detained for anything, even if you were found to be innocent
  • History of any and all instances of illegal drug use

Step 5: Training Academy

Now that you have made it through the testing your next step is enrollment in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Basic Training Deputy Academy. Graduates will also receive Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training certification. Sheriff deputy training lasts a total of 720 hours over the span of 20 weeks. Physical training begins with:

  • Climbing a six foot chain-link fence
  • Obstacle course
  • 500-yard dash
  • Dragging a weight of 165 pounds
  • Running up to five miles per day

Training additionally focuses on other subject areas that are pertinent to your job as a Maricopa County deputy sheriff, including:

  • Law: criminal, arrest, constitutional
  • Cultural diversity
  • Defensive tactics
  • First aid
  • Firearms
  • Report writing
  • Driver training

Upon completion of the deputy academy basic training you will be qualified to begin your job as a Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy. Depending on your previous experience, you will be paired with another deputy to begin your patrol duty.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Learning how to become a Mohave County Sheriff Deputy involves following a series of interview and training steps. These are:

  1. Meeting the basic qualifications
  2. Written exam
  3. Physical agility test
  4. Panel interview
  5. Executive review
  6. Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy

Failure of any part of this process will result in a 90 day suspension from completing further portions of the hiring process.

Step 1: Meeting the basic qualifications

The minimum qualifications for Mohave County deputy sheriff jobs are:

  • Be willing to accept assignment anywhere in Mohave County
  • Have normal hearing and vision
  • U.S. citizen
  • At least 21 years old
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • No felony convictions
  • Must be willing to attend and successfully complete Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZPOST)

Step 2: Written exam

All sheriff deputy jobs in Mohave County require the completion of a written exam, which is only proctored a few times a year. You must therefore check the sheriff’s department test schedule to see the date of the next testing opportunity. The test is:

  • Test of general knowledge
  • 105 multiple choice questions
  • 75% considered to be a passing score

Step 3: Physical agility test

The physical agility test is meant to simulate on-the-job situations and determine whether or not you are capable of meeting these basic requirements. The test includes:

  • Measure of your strength and stamina
  • Obstacle course
  • 500 yard run
  • Fence jumps
  • Simulated body/weight drag

Step 4: Panel interview

You will now undergo a joint oral interview conducted by Mohave County Sheriff’s Department jobs officials. Answer the questions thoroughly and fully. The interview consists of:

  • Three-person panel
  • You will be evaluated on a point scale based on your responses
  • 70% considered to be a passing score
  • All questions are job-related and may be hypothetical

Step 5: Executive Review

Now that you have shown you are physically and mentally ready for Mohave County deputy sheriff jobs, you must demonstrate your professional and moral capabilities. The next step is undergoing a series of evaluations and examinations including:

  • Background investigation
  • Polygraph test
  • Medical examination
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Final executive interview

Upon completion of your executive review, your name will be placed on a list of qualified applicants and ranked accordingly based on your merits. The sheriff’s department may then choose to move you on to the next level of the application process.

Step 6: Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZ POST) Certification

Your final step towards a sheriff’s deputy job in Mohave County is the attendance and completion of the AZ POST. For this training you will live on-location at the training academy which typically takes a few months to complete. You will be allowed to leave during the weekends but are expected to report back Sunday night. Upon completion you will begin your career with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department. The AS POST includes the following training:

  • Legal procedures
  • Report writing
  • Defensive driving
  • Firearms training
  • Special tactics
  • Self-defense
  • Survival training
  • CPR and first aid

Pima County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Learning how to become a Pima County sheriff’s deputy begins by reviewing the necessary steps in the application process:

  1. Verify you are eligible for the position
  2. Initial application acceptance
  3. Complete the necessary tests, screenings, and interviews
  4. Post-hire procedures
  5. Complete the training academy

The steps are completed in chronological order working closely with the sheriff’s department and training staff. All training is taken very seriously and you are always welcome to ask clarifying questions if there are aspects you do not understand.

Step 1: Eligibility

The first step is to determine if you are eligible to apply for Pima County deputy sheriff jobs. Do you meet the following minimum requirements?

  • At least 21 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Honorable discharge from the military, if applicable
  • No pattern of drug use
  • Communicate in English
  • No illegal narcotic drug use in the past seven years
  • No felony convictions
  • Arizona driver’s license
  • Registered to vote in Pima County
  • No illegal marijuana use in the past three years
  • U.S. citizen of excellent moral character
  • Willing to work any shift

Step 2: Acceptance of Initial Application

Once you determine your eligibility you will fill out an application. The application process is only open during certain times of the year. If you find the application process is currently closed you can fill out a job interest card to be notified when the position becomes open. When you are notified you will have an initial interview with sheriff’s department officials, and if everything goes well you will proceed to the next step in the hiring process.

Step 3: Tests, Screenings and Interviews

Now that you have passed the first hurdle to become a Pima County sheriff’s deputy, you will face a physical fitness test. You will be given one chance to fix your technique if it is not appropriate. The test will cover three areas:

  • Muscular Endurance: Sit ups, push ups
  • Flexibility: Sit and reach
  • Cardio-Respiratory endurance: 1.5 mile run

The test is calibrated for age and gender, with the most stringent requirements being for males between the ages of 20-29. Once you have passed the physical test you will face:

  • Two-hour multiple choice test consisting of 100 questions
  • Oral interview by a panel
  • Polygraph and background screening
  • A final executive interview which will decide whether you are hired

Step 4: Post-Hire Procedures

When you have been selected to be hired as a Pima County sheriff’s deputy you will still need to complete a few more procedural evaluations:

  • Interview with a psychologist and psychological testing
  • Medical exam including a drug test
  • Thorough background check and final review

Step 5: Training Academy

Sheriff’s deputy jobs in Pima County all require the completion of a training academy. Your probationary period of 18 months begins on your first day of this academy, which will include:

  • 20-week Basic Law Enforcement Academy including four weeks of advanced training
  • 12-week field training program

The trainings will cover a wide variety of relevant subject areas including self-defense, weapons, driving, first aid, report writing, and legal procedures. You will be able to go home over the weekends during the training academy, but are expected to report back to your training quarters Sunday night. Upon completion your job as a Pima County deputy sheriff begins and you will be paired with an experienced deputy.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Jobs for deputy sheriffs in Pinal County, Arizona involve a multi-step process that can be summarized as:

  1. Application and basic requirements
  2. Testing
  3. Interviews
  4. Training academy

Step 1: Application and Basic Requirements

Learning how to become a Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy begins with being aware of the initial minimum qualifications for the position. The first step is the completion of an application, which can be found on the Pinal County jobs site. The minimum requirements for this are:

  • U.S. citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • At least 21 years old
  • Ability to become an Arizona-certified law enforcement officer
  • No significant drug use
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Pinal County residence (up to six months to establish this after employment offer)

It is additionally preferred that you are already a certified law enforcement officer and have either a four-year university degree or 120+ hours of college credit. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Department recognizes that knowledge, skills, and abilities that are beneficial for sheriff’s deputy jobs may be gained from a wide variety of education and work experiences, and these are also taken into consideration during the application process.

Step 2: Tests

The next step in becoming a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy involves passing several physical and mental tests. If you initially fail the physical test you will be given an opportunity for redemption. Any current illegal drug use is grounds for immediate disqualification, and a medical examination is necessary to discover any potentially detrimental preexisting conditions.

  • Oral panel interview: Answer questions and give explanations to a panel of interviewers.
  • Physical agility test: Demonstrate capabilities necessary in the law enforcement field. Includes a timed running event, sit-ups, pushups, and a sit-and-reach test.
  • Drug and alcohol screening
  • Medical examination

Step 3: Interviews

It is important that you are truthful from the beginning of the application process and throughout the rest of your career as a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy. During the hiring process you will be subjected to a thorough background investigation followed by a detailed polygraph examination that can inquire into anything from your past financial history to criminal acts you have committed in the past for which you were never caught.

  • Background investigation: Investigators will conduct a thorough check of your references.
  • Polygraph test: To be based on questions you provide on a questionnaire and your background investigation references.
  • Psychological examination

Step 4: Training Academy

All Pinal County sheriffs’ department deputy jobs must be certified by the Arizona Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (POST) Board. A typical training academy course will be 20 weeks long and cover the range of subjects pertinent for Pinal County sheriff’s deputy jobs. These include:

  • Driving techniques
  • CPR and first aid training
  • Weapons training
  • How to write reports
  • Legal training
  • Self-defense tactics
  • Law enforcement techniques

The Arizona POST Academy is conducted in a facility where you will remain five days a week. You have the option to leave during the weekend but are expected to report back Sunday night. Upon completion you will begin your career as a deputy sheriff in Pinal County, being placed with a more experienced deputy who will show you the ropes during your first weeks on the job.

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Yavapai County deputy sheriff jobs are obtained by completing a multi-step application and training process. Learn how to become a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Deputy by following these seven steps:

  1. Meet the minimum requirements and apply
  2. Initial exam
  3. Physical agility test
  4. Panel interview
  5. Background investigation
  6. Polygraph, medical, and psychological evaluation
  7. Training academy

Step 1. Minimum Requirements and Disqualifiers

The first step is to determine if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. You should complete an application once you confirm you meet these requirements, which are the same for all sheriff deputy jobs in Yavapai County, and include:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • 21 years of age or older
  • U.S. citizen
  • Ability to fire a gun
  • Strength, stamina, and tolerance
  • Good moral character
  • Good personal records in driving, finances, previous employment, and/or military service

Disqualifiers for Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department jobs include:

  • Felony convictions or any crime for which you must register
  • Two DUIs
  • Domestic violence or domestic assault conviction
  • Other convictions as determined by the sheriff’s department
  • Tattoos or piercings visible while on duty, to be reviewed on a case by case basis

Step 2. Initial Exam

The next step involves taking a written exam that will test your basic skills. This exam is used to establish a list of candidates who will be selected when a spot for a sheriff’s deputy opens. Those who perform better will be placed at the top of the list, and your name will remain active for up to twelve months. The exam will test for:

  • Writing comprehension
  • Reading comprehension
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal relational skills

Step 3. Physical Agility Test

Yavapai County sheriff’s deputy jobs all require the successful completion of a physical agility test to be completed after your initial written examination. You must be able to complete:

  • 29 sit-ups in one minute
  • 27 push-ups in one minute
  • 1.5 mile run in 15.4 minutes

Upon completion of the physical agility test you will be scheduled to take part in an oral interview.

Step 4. Panel Interview

Your panel interview will consist of three individuals who will ask you questions related to your previous work experience and how that could hypothetically relate to a deputy sheriff job. The panel will determine if you are the candidate best fit for the job, thereby allowing you to proceed to the next step.

Step 5. Background Investigation

The background investigation will make a thorough examination of your past employment, criminal, civil, and military involvement, personal relations, financial history, previous drug use, and education records. An evaluation will be prepared which summarizes your predicted performance with the sheriff’s department in the areas of dependability, honesty, communication skills, judgment, and integrity, being based upon the findings of your background investigation.

Step 6. Polygraph, Medical, and Psychological Examinations

After completing your background investigation, an examiner may wish to ask you details while you are attached to a polygraph machine. You will additionally be required to complete a polygraph questionnaire prior to your screening that will inquire into areas similar to those of your background investigation.

After a positive review of your polygraph results you will complete a medical and psychological examination to determine any pre-existing conditions or issues that may have previously gone undetected or unaddressed. Once you are finished with these final procedures you will receive a conditional offer of employment, dependent on your timely completion of the Deputy Sheriff Academy at the Northern Arizona Regional Training Center

Step 7. Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy

The Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy is certified by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZ POST) Board and provides the training courses for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department. This includes 680 hours of classroom instructions in areas such as:

  • Tactical communications
  • Legal training
  • Crime scene investigation techniques
  • Assault prevention theory
  • Firearms theory

Specialized courses offer training in:

  • Firearms and weapons
  • Defensive driving and pit maneuvers
  • Self-defense
  • Physical fitness that includes weight training and aerobics

You will be allowed to return home for weekends, though you must report back to the training academy Sunday night. Upon completion of the academy you will begin your career as a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Deputy, being paired with a veteran training officer with whom you will complete your final 12 weeks of field training.

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