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How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Iowa

Black Hawk County Sheriff Department Jobs

Black Hawk County Deputy Sheriff jobs involve serving the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area of northeastern Iowa, primarily an urban area, as well as nine surrounding cities and unincorporated areas.

If you are interested in applying for available Black Hawk County Sheriff Deputy jobs, you will go through a process that includes a number of steps. This guide provides an overview:

  1. Minimum standards
  2. Application
  3. Agility Test
  4. Four-part Written Test
  5. Background Investigation
  6. Long Form Application
  7. Conditional Employment Offer
  8. Formal Interview with Black Hawk County Sheriff Department

Step 1. Verify you Meet the Minimum Standards

  • United states citizen and Iowa resident (or intends to become an Iowa resident upon employment)
  • Minimum 18 years old
  • High school graduate of G.E.D. certificate
  • Valid Iowa driver’s license, which has not been suspended or revoked during the previous three (3) years
  • Ability to read, comprehend and speak English
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony
  • Must not have misused drugs, including used marijuana within previous three (3) years
  • Vision correctable to 20/20, with un-corrective vision of not less than 20/100 in both eyes

Step 2. Submit an Application

Those interested in Black Hawk County Deputy Sheriff jobs can get an application in person during business hours at the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in Waterloo.

Complete the application and return it, along with a $15.00 processing fee within one month of the testing date.

Step 3. Complete the Agility Test

Your physical fitness and agility will be measured against Iowa Law Enforcement Academy training standards for completing a timed 1.5 mile run, specified number of sit-ups and push-ups completed within one minute and a sit and reach test.

Step 4. Complete the Four-part Written Test

After you pass the agility test, you will have the opportunity to take a written examination that must be completed within one hour and twenty-three minutes. The exam has 75 questions that will test your abilities in math, grammar and comprehension, as well as report writing. A seventy percent minimum in each section is required to pass.

If you pass all four sections of the test, your name will be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Department.

Step 5. Submit to a Background Investigation

An intensive background check will be performed, which may include contacting former employers, neighbors, and family members.

Step 6. Submit Long Form Application

A more detailed application will be given to you, and you must complete and return it to the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office by a specified deadline.

Step 7. Accept Conditional Employment Offer

If you have passed all of the previous tests, you may receive a conditional offer of employment, subject to your passing a physical examination, drug screening, a psychological examination and undergoing a polygraph.

Step 8. Formal Interview with Black Hawk County Sheriff Department

A list of the top ten (10) candidates will be certified by the Civil Service Commission, which will then be forwarded to the Black Hawk County Sheriff and Command Staff. The Sheriff’s Department will notify selected candidates to come in for a formal interview. Depending on the number of vacancies, a formal job offer will be made, which is contingent upon the candidate passing a further physical examination and drug screening.

After further testing is successfully completed, you will become a Black Hawk County Deputy Sheriff with probationary status and will be advised of further training.

Linn County Sheriff Department Jobs

The Linn County Sheriff Department serves Iowa’s second largest county in population, covering the city of Cedar Rapids, 18 incorporated communities and 11 villages. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office handles law enforcement and civil processing, maintains a correctional facility and provisions for paramedic and rescue services.

If you would like to learn how to become a Linn County Iowa Sheriff’s Deputy, here is an overview of what to do:

  1. Minimum Standards For A Linn County Deputy Sheriff
  2. Application
  3. Civil Service Written Test and Agility Testing
  4. Interview with Linn County Sheriff Department
  5. Background Check, Medical Exam and Academy Training

Step 1. Minimum Standards for a Linn County Deputy Sheriff

Here are some of the basic qualifications and standards Linn County looks for in hiring deputy sheriffs to fill open jobs:

  • United States citizen and resident of Iowa, or will become an Iowa resident when employed
  • A high school graduate or possess a GED (an Associate’s Degree in a related field is preferred)
  • Be 18 years of age
  • Possess a valid and current Iowa driver’s license
  • Vision that tests not less than 20-100 in either eye, that can be corrected to 20-20, along with normal color vision
  • Normal hearing
  • Meets physical standards necessary for the duties of a sheriff deputy
  • Ability to read and write in the English language
  • No drug or alcohol addition
  • Is not opposed (through beliefs or conscience) to using reasonable force as necessary to fulfill duties
  • Must pass the Civil Service Exam
  • Successfully complete the training program

Step 2. Application

When the hiring process for Deputy Sheriff begins, the Civil Service Commission will publish announcements in local media outlets, as well as post online and on the Linn County website.  Completed applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. the Friday, prior to the posted test date.

Applications for Deputy Sheriff are available at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in Cedar Rapids.

Prior to the Civil Service examination, you must submit:

  • Completed application
  • Photo of yourself
  • Sealed transcripts for high school and college courses

Step 3. Civil Service Written Test and Agility Testing

Typically, the Civil Service test is given on the last Saturday in March or the first Saturday in April each year at the Kennedy High School cafeteria. The physical fitness test and the POST exam both take place on the same day. You must bring your photo driver’s license and your social security card to the testing site.

You will know that day if you pass the physical agility test. The results of the written Civil Service test are usually provided within ten (10) days. If you passed, you will be certified on the Civil Service List of candidates.

Step 4. Interview with Linn County Sheriff Department

When openings arise in the Linn County Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff will contact the top candidates on the Civil Service list for an interview. A hiring decision will be made within five (5) days, and you will be notified whether or not you will be offered employment.

Step 5. Background Check, Medical Exam and Academy Training

If you are offered employment, you will be subject to an extensive background check, medical and psychological examination and drug testing. You will also be asked to enroll in and complete training, which takes place at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

The annual salary for a Linn County Deputy Sheriff is $43,077.

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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