How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Montana

Gallatin County Sheriff Department Jobs

Gallatin County is located in the southwestern part of Montana and includes the college town of Bozeman. The county is the third most populated in the state, with a population of about 90,000, and is the fastest growing county in that section of Montana. Because of the population boom in the area, Gallatin County Deputy Sheriff jobs are in high demand and they typically hire recruits once a year during the summer. The department prefers that applications be turned into the department during late summer or early fall.

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When it comes to how to become a Gallatin County Sheriff Deputy, there is a set of steps you will have to complete before beginning basic training with the department. The following is the typical process you will go through, from beginning to end:

  • Step 1:  Review basic requirements
  • Step 2:  Fill-out application
  • Step 3:  Written exam and physical fitness test
  • Step 4:  Interview
  • Step 5:  Psychological exam
  • Step 6:  Physical and criminal background check
  • Step 7:  Field Officer Training and P.O.S.T certification

Step 1. Review Basic Requirements

Before filling out an application, make sure that you meet all of the following basic requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must posses, or be able to posses, a Montana driver’s license
  • Must be in good physical condition
  • Must get P.O.S.T. certification within 12 months or being recruited
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED*
  • Must be legally able to own a firearm
  • Must have no felony convictions or domestic abuse convictions
  • Must have good verbal and written skills
  • Must be able to handle stressful situations
  • Must be able to work all hours
  • Must be able to work with the public
  • Must be able to multi-task and have exceptional time management skills

*Additional consideration is given to applicants who have higher education experience.

Step 2. Fill-out Application

The application will ask you about work history, educational experience and special skills and qualifications that would make you an exceptional candidate. If the Gallatin County Sheriff Deputy Department likes what they see, and you meet all basic requirements, you will be asked to continue on with the interview process. If any information is found to be falsified on the application, you will be automatically disqualified from contention.

Step 3. Written Exam and Physical Fitness Test

The written examination consists of short-answer, multiple choice and essay questions. The point of the written exam is to prove that you have a good grasp of the English language and are able to handle the paperwork portions of Gallatin County Sheriff Department jobs. The physical fitness test is meant to test stamina, agility, strength and endurance. A video of the test can be seen here. The fitness test must be completed within 5 minutes and 30 seconds to be considered for employment.

Step 4. Interview

The next step is an interview with a representative from the department. The interview will review all of the information contained in your application and will also review for qualifications and skills obtained from the other examinations performed prior to the interview.

Step 5. Psychological Exam

The psychological exam is meant to test how well you can handle stress and pressure, as well as your decision and critical thinking skills.

Step 6. Physical and Criminal Background Check

The physical test is meant to measure your heart rate, blood pressure and other health factors that will come into play while on the job. The goal is to make sure your body is in good enough condition to handle the physical stress that the job may demand from time to time. The criminal background check will make sure none of the information you provided is falsified and that you do not have any convictions that would disqualify you from the position.

Step 7. Field Officer Training and P.O.S.T Certification

Police Officer Safety and Training certification is not required at the beginning of the process, but is required within 12 months of being offered the position with the Gallatin County, Montana Sheriff Deputy Department. If you already have P.O.S.T certification prior to applying then you will be entered into field officer training right away. If you do not have certification yet, you will be required to get it before moving onto field officer training.

Missoula County Sheriff Department Jobs

With a population of 110,138, Missoula County is the second most populated county in the state of Montana, and is one of the fastest growing areas in the state, according to the United States Census Bureau.

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Missoula County Deputy Sheriff jobs include patrol units, coroner assistance, criminal investigations and a host of other law enforcement duties. When considering how to become a Missoula County Sheriff Deputy there are a series of steps you will have to finish before entering the workforce for the department. These steps include:

  • Step 1:  Reviewing basic qualifications and requirements
  • Step 2:  Completing the application
  • Step 3:  Passing written and physical agility examinations
  • Step 4:  Performing an oral interview
  • Step 5:  Completing a psychological evaluation
  • Step 6:  Passing a background check
  • Step 7:  Completing basic training

Applications are generally handled year around, but examinations and interviews are usually scheduled in the fall and winter only. Basic training begins in January, and lasts anywhere from six months to one year.

Step 1. Reviewing Basic Qualifications and Requirements

The first step of the process involves reviewing the basic qualifications for applicants. If you do not have these basic qualifications you will not be contacted about continuing on in the recruitment process. The basic qualifications are as follows:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age
  • You must have a high school diploma or a GED
  • You must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Montana for at least 1 year and a resident of Missoula County for at least 6 months prior to applying
  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • You must be of good moral character (clean driving record, criminal history, etc.)
  • You must be in good physical and mental condition

Step 2. Completing the Application

Upon meeting the basic requirements, you must complete the application for Missoula County Sheriff Department jobs. The application asks about education, work history, special skills, qualifications and training and various other parts of your background. The application can be downloaded here. Any falsified information on the application will automatically disqualify you from continuing on with the process.

Step 3. Passing Written and Physical Agility Examinations

The written examination is an aptitude test meant to measure your familiarity and strength with use of the English language. The exam includes both an essay portion and a multiple choice section. The physical agility tests mill measure your strength, fitness, health and stamina through a series of tests- including sit-ups, push-ups, running and lifting and carrying heavy objects. Applicants are required to get a physical exam done within 30 days of applying for the position.

Step 4. Performing an Oral Interview

The next step is a oral interview with a representative from the Missoula, Montana Sheriff Deputy Department. The interview will review all of the information obtained through the process so far and will seek to find out why you are interested in the position and what makes you unique from the other applicants who have applied for the job.

Step 5. Completing a Psychological Evaluation

The psychological evaluation will determine whether you are mentally fit to handle the stressful situations you may experience while working for the Missoula County Sheriff Deputy Department. Other things that will be measured are time management skills and the ability to communicate with people in a respectful and non-confrontational manner.

Step 6. Passing a Background Check

The background check will seek to verify all of the information included in the application you filled out in the second step. The information included is credit history, a criminal background check, medical history, family history and past educational and work history.

Step 7. Completing Basic Training

Basic training includes 180 hours of classes focused on law enforcement and peace office training. There is also hands-on training meant to teach you the basics when it comes to patrol procedures, arrest procedures and testifying in the court of law. Training typically begins in January of each year and ends in June. After basic training, you will be placed in a position with the Missoula County Sheriff Department and will receive on-the-job training until you are determined to be able to work independently without further supervision or training.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Department Jobs

Yellowstone County is the primary hiring arm of Montana’s Deputy Sheriff’s Association. The application process for available jobs is typically only open during April and May of each year- as the entire process can take up to 6 to 8 months.

Any applications that are received outside of the recruitment dates are not accepted and will be sent back to you. Usually, if your application is accepted, you will hear back from the department within 60 days.

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When determining how to become a Yellowstone County Deputy Sheriff, you must go through a series of steps, which are broken down in the following order:

  • Step 1:  Completing the P.O.S.T Application
  • Step 2:  Initial Background Check
  • Step 3:  Written and Physical Agility Testing/ P.O.S.T Testing
  • Step 4:  Oral Board Interview
  • Step 5:  Physiological Testing
  • Step 6:  Eligibility Pool Ranking
  • Step 7:  Training Academy Enrollment

Step 1. Completing the P.O.S.T Application

The Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) application is meant to translate your experience and education into the qualifications necessary to be a law enforcement professional.

This application can only be filled out during a specified 2-month period during the year. The information obtained from this application will be used to perform the next step in the application process.

Step 2. Initial Background Check

Yellowstone County Sheriff jobs require that all applicants have a clean background in terms of crime, driving and similar records. Any felony will disqualify you from the position, as well as host misdemeanors if they involve aggressive or violent behavior.

Step 3. Written and Physical Agility Testing/ P.O.S.T Testing

The written and physical agility testing requires that you have the physical abilities that the job demands, as well as the basic understanding of what police officers are supposed to do in certain situations and how to deal with the public in difficult situations. When considering how to become a Yellowstone County Deputy Sheriff, bare in mind that mental acuity is as important physical ability.

Step 4. Oral Board Interview

The oral board interview involves a panel of representatives from the Yellowstone County Deputy Sheriff Office, and it will focus on all the information that has been obtained through the application process up to this point.

Step 5. Physiological Testing

At this point, additional testing may be required but is not always done. The additional testing can include physical and psychological exams, polygraph testing and other tests in order to compare you with other finalists for the academy.

Step 6. Eligibility Pool Ranking

The top three candidates will be identified for each open position in the department, and from there the Sheriff ‘s Department will identify who they feel is the best fit for the job. The other two candidates will go back into the pool and placed in jobs- if there are any available. If there are no other jobs available, the candidates who were not chosen will be required to start the entire process over again during the next round of hiring.

Step 7. Training Academy Enrollment

If you make it this far, you will be enrolled in a 24-week training course. Classes include firearm training, stress and time management, physical fitness and agility and procedural duties for the various duties required of you as a Deputy Sheriff.

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