How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Indiana

Lake County Sheriff Department Jobs

Lake County, Indiana is on the state line with Illinois and is part of the Chicago metro area. It’s home to nearly half a million people and is the second most populous county in Indiana. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department includes police, corrections, court security and animal control divisions. The Police Department employs 168 officers and has several specialty units, such as an aviation and marine unit, a K-9 unit, a SWAT unit and a gangs unit, among others.

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If you want to be hired as a Lake County Sheriff’s police officer, there are several steps you must complete. You must:

  • Satisfy Preliminary Requirements
  • Score Well on Written and Physical Exams
  • Pass Interview, Polygraph and Background Checks
  • Pass a Medical Exam and Psychological Test
  • Pass the Training Academy Program

Step 1.  Meet the Basic Qualifications for Lake County Sheriff’s Police Officer Candidacy

This is a list of basic qualifications for a Lake County Sheriff’s police officer, but additional requirements may apply. You must first:

  • Have a record free of felony convictions
  • Have U.S. citizenship
  • Be 21
  • Have a high school diploma/GED
  • Have a valid state driver’s license

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department periodically advertises job application opportunities in local newspapers. You must first attend a hiring event, during which you will receive a job application and an orientation about the hiring process. Your application must be completed and submitted by the deadline specified, in order to be accepted. The application will require you to provide information about your education and former employers, and will require you to list references. You may also be asked about your former residences, any previous contact with law enforcement, any convictions, previous military experience, or financial information, such as your credit history.

Step 2. Pass Physical and Written Exams

If your application is considered promising, you will be contacted with the time and location for the written exam. The exam will test your reading, writing, grammar and mathematics skills, as well as your ability to solve problems. If you score well on the written test, you will also be invited to move on to agility tests that will assess your physical strength and ability to perform the physical aspects of a police officer’s duties.

Step 3. Pass Interview, Polygraph and Background Checks

If you have one of the highest scores on the written and agility tests, you will be invited to an oral job interview. You should anticipate likely questions, and your best responses. You may be asked to expand on information you gave on your application, to explain what personal qualities would make you a good police officer, or to share your career goals and skills.

The sheriff’s department will also conduct an extensive background check to verify the information you gave on your application. The department will also check any documents you gave and official records, such as your school records, your employment, your driving record, any criminal record, and any military service, among others. You will also be asked to sit for a polygraph test.

Step 4. Pass Psychological and Medical Tests

If your application, interview and tests have made a positive impression, the next step in the hiring process will be medical and psychological testing. You will be required to undergo medical examinations to determine your physical and emotional fitness for the job. Drug testing will be a part of the medical examination.

Step 5. Attend Lake County Sheriff’s Police Officer Training

If you advance past the medical and psychological tests, you will begin a year-long probationary period with the sheriff’s department. At some point during this first year, you will be required to attend the state law enforcement academy and undergo its rigorous training program. While at the academy, you will learn about firearms, receive driver’s training, learn self-defense, and undergo challenging physical tests. You must pass these tests in order to graduate from the academy. You will also attend classes on subjects such as criminal law, domestic violence, narcotics and accident investigation, among many others. You must pass all of these courses, as well, in order to graduate.

When you graduate from the academy, you will be a Lake County Sheriff’s Police Officer.

Marion County Sheriff Department Jobs

Marion County is the most populous county in the state of Indiana, and includes the state capitol, Indianapolis. In 2007 the Marion County Sheriff’s Department merged with the Indianapolis Police Department to form the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Currently, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office maintains the county jails and is also responsible for court security. Marion County Deputy Sheriff jobs will likely involve maintaining inmate care and security at the county jail, and providing security at the sheriff’s headquarters or the city-county building.

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There are several steps you must complete in order to become a Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy:

  1. Meet Basic Qualifications
  2. Pass Physical and Written Exams
  3. Pass Interview, Polygraph and Background Checks
  4. Pass a Medical Exam and Psychological Test
  5. Attend the Training Academy

Step 1.  Meet the Basic Qualifications for Marion County Deputy Sheriff Candidacy

The preliminary requirements for Marion County Deputy Sheriff jobs are as follows. You must:

  • Have a record free of battery or felony convictions
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a High school diploma/GED
  • Possess a valid state driver’s license at the time of hiring
  • Be able to work any shift

You can go to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office website and complete a job interest card to receive an e-mail notification when a deputy sheriff’s job becomes available. If you are without Internet access, you may also fill out a job interest card by visiting the lobby of the Marion County Jail on weekdays, during normal business hours.

Step 2. Pass Physical and Written Exams

If you meet the preliminary employment requirements, you will be required to pass additional written and physical tests. These will determine if you have the necessary mental and physical agility that the position requires.

Step 3. Pass Interview, Polygraph and Background Checks

You must also complete an application interview. This interview is, in some ways, much like any job interview, and you should be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • Why do you want to be a deputy sheriff?
  • Tell me, briefly, about your history.
  • What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?

You should come prepared to give honest replies to these, and other likely questions pertaining specifically to police work. Preparation, preferably with an interview coach, can be helpful. Study guides are available online and in book stores that may help with law-enforcement-specific interview questions.

You may also be required to undergo a drug test, a polygraph test, a thorough background check and/or fingerprinting.  You should be able to produce all required documentation, such as proof of education, past employment, and military records. Letters of recommendation and/or character references may also give candidates a competitive edge.

Step 4. Pass Psychological and Medical Tests

You will be required to undergo medical and psychological examinations to determine whether you have the good health and emotional temperament to become sheriff’s deputy in Marion County. You must be prepared for medical and psychological tests, including blood tests, designed to reveal your general medical and emotional fitness.

Step 5. Attend Marion County Deputy Sheriff Training

Once you pass the initial screening, you must complete officer training at one of the state-certified facilities.  For Marion County Sheriff’s deputies, this will most likely be either the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Law Enforcement Training Academy, or the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield.

As a new candidate, you will be required to complete a minimum of 480 hours of rigorous physical training, firearms training, and officer education, all within a year of being hired. If you do not complete this training within a year, you would lose your arrest powers until the training is completed.

Physical requirements include pushups, sit ups, and a 1.5 mile run, among others. You are expected to score better on physical exams at the end of training than they did on entry, and to specific standards, in order to pass.

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Sample coursework subjects include law, the proper use of force and understanding human behavior.

Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies who will be serving at the jail will also be required to complete jail officer training within a year of appointment. Course subjects include areas such as medical and legal aspects of inmate care, facility security and suicide prevention. Sheriff’s deputies are also required to complete ongoing in-service training.

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