How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Arkansas

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Benton County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Learning how to become a Benton County sheriff deputy starts by knowing what steps to take. Knowing the stages helps you to be a more informed and relaxed candidate, and will allow you to gain an understanding of the overall process. The steps to sheriff deputy jobs in Benton County are as follows:

  1. Check your documents and eligibility when you apply
  2. Physical abilities test
  3. Interview
  4. Background check, polygraph test, and psychological evaluation
  5. Corrections work
  6. Training academy

Step 1. Required Documents and Minimum Qualifications

Before you even begin to fill out a sheriff’s department application, make sure you meet the basic minimum qualifications for Benton County Sheriff’s Department jobs. These include:

  • Being at least 21 years old
  • No history of excessive illegal drug use
  • U.S. citizen
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions
  • High school diploma or GED

In addition to meeting these basic requirements, you must also include the following documents with your applications:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Education diploma and/or transcripts
  • Driver’s license copy
  • Notarized authority to release information
  • Military discharge paperwork (DD-214), if applicable

Step 2. Physical Abilities Test

All Benton County deputy sheriff jobs require you to complete a physical abilities test. This includes:

  • Sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • At least a mile run
  • Dead-weight pull over 150 pounds

Step 3. Interview

Upon successful completion of the physical abilities test, you will have an interview with officials from the Benton County deputy sheriff jobs department. They will ask you questions to determine your capabilities and personal qualities, discerning if you are the right person for the job. They may ask you questions about your previous employment and personal history, or hypothetical questions about how you might respond to certain situations in a job as a Benton County deputy sheriff.

Step 4. Background Check, Polygraph, and Psychological Evaluation

On your initial application you will have provided character references, your prior criminal convictions, driving record history, and credit references. These will all be examined by a background investigator in a process that usually takes at least four weeks. You may be asked questions related to your background check or any other area of your professional and personal life during a polygraph examination. Questions may pertain to your past relationships, criminal activity for which you have not been caught, or previous interactions with coworkers. After a successful polygraph examination you will proceed with a psychological evaluation to determine you are of a solid mental state.

Step 5. Corrections Work

The Benton County Sheriff’s Department has the policy to either laterally hire Arkansas-certified law enforcement officers or require new recruits to first work in the Benton County Jail. As a new recruit, you will develop certain job skills while you work as a corrections officer in the jail and build relationships with other Benton County deputies. How long you work in the jail depends on the demand for sheriff’s deputies, but you must work in the jail at least some time before you can begin the final step towards becoming a deputy sheriff in Benton County: the training academy.

Step 6. Sheriff’s Deputy Training Academy

Benton County sheriff’s deputies will complete an Arkansas Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-certified training academy lasting 12 weeks. During this program you will live on-site, being allowed to leave on weekends and return Sunday night. The training will cover all the basic skills you will need to have as a deputy, including:

  • Legal procedures and evidence gathering
  • Self-defense
  • Weapons training
  • Defensive driving and vehicle tactics
  • CPR and first aid
  • Writing reports

When you complete the academy you will begin your career as a Benton County deputy sheriff. Depending on your experience, you may be paired with another more experienced officer who will provide some additional weeks of on-the-job training.

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Learning how to become a Pulaski County, Arkansas sheriff’s deputy will prepare you for a successful application and hiring process.

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The process of applying for Pulaski County deputy sheriff jobs follows the chronological succession of these steps:

  1. Fill out an application
  2. Physical ability test
  3. Interview
  4. Background and polygraph test
  5. Medical exam and psych evaluation
  6. Training academy

Step 1. Complete an Application

The first step to Pulaski County sheriff’s department jobs is filling out an application. Before you fill this out make sure you meet the minimum qualifications, which are:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • At least 21 years old
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Arkansas driver’s license (or ability to obtain one upon hire)
  • Current CPR certification
  • U.S. citizen

Once you meet these basic qualifications you can either fill out an application in person Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm at the Pulaski County human resources office in Little Rock, or you can visit the human resources office online.

Step 2. Physical Ability Test

All sheriff deputy jobs in Pulaski County require the completion of a basic physical abilities test to ensure you will not be disqualified later on at the training academy. This initial physical test consists of a series of timed sit-ups (25), push-ups (20), sprinting, and running (1.5 miles). It is essential you pass this initial test and training is advised if needed.

Step 3. Interview

If you have made it this far there is a good chance you have what it takes physically to become a deputy sheriff. Now you must complete a panel interview to ascertain if you have the right mental abilities. Sheriff’s officials will question you about your reaction to possible scenarios, the motivation that drives you to want the job of a Pulaski County deputy sheriff, and may ask you about your past jobs, relationships, and history. The interview also includes an orientation of the sheriff’s station.

Step 4. Background and Polygraph Test

After completing a successful interview, you will be required to submit a detailed background report to an investigator. Your background investigation may be followed by a polygraph examination. Both these procedures can ask questions not limited to the following subject areas:

  • Past or current debts, bounced checks, or overdrawn accounts
  • Ex-partners and reasons for personal tensions with close friends and family members
  • Your driving history record
  • Any past criminal activity, including that for which you were not caught or convicted
  • Any past experiences with illegal drugs

The purpose of the background investigation and polygraph test is to determine if you are of sound moral character and trustworthy. Therefore it is much more important to be honest and disclose any relevant information to your examiner. Deliberate misinformation, half-truths, or lies will be grounds for instant termination of your application. The background check process can take a few weeks while the investigator completes all necessary interviews.

Step 5. Medical Exam and Psychological Evaluation

Now you must attend a scheduled medical exam and psychological evaluation. The medical exam is to ensure you do not have any pre-existing conditions that may sabotage your job performance later on, while the psychological exam is to confirm you have a stable mental state. You will be checked for basic ailments and disorders, and may be asked for blood or urine samples. You may additionally be required to undergo a urinalysis drug test.

Step 6. Training Academy

The sheriff deputy training academy is offered a few times each year. It is an Arkansas-certified Peace Officer Standards and Training academy lasting 12 weeks, Monday through Friday, with weekends off. You will live on-site and complete a range of courses covering topics such as:

  • Firearms training
  • CPR and first aid
  • Defensive driving and pit maneuvers
  • Report writing
  • Legal procedures
  • Tactical and special operations
  • Physical training
  • Self-defense

Upon completion of the training academy you can begin your job as a Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy. Depending on your previous experience you may be paired with an experienced field training officer who will help you get accustomed and complete any additional training with you on the job.

Washington County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

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:

  1. Complete an application
  2. Physical agility test
  3. Interview
  4. Background check and polygraph test
  5. Medical and psychological evaluation
  6. Departmental experience
  7. Training academy
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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:

  • Self-defense
  • 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.

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