How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in New Jersey

Bergen County Sheriff Department Jobs

With 911,004 residents, Bergen County is New Jersey’s most populous county. Its 247 square miles include seven municipalities. The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) has over 900 employees, making it the county’s largest law enforcement agency.

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In New Jersey, “Deputy Sheriff” is only an honorary title with no law enforcement powers. “Sheriff’s Officer” is the position most closely aligned with that of “Deputy Sheriff” in other states. Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer jobs are found in the following divisions:

  • Court Security Division. Ensures the safety of the expansive, multi-court Bergen County Justice Center.
  • Corrections Unit. Maintains order at the Bergen County Jail where 1,100 pre-trial and sentenced inmates are housed, fed and cared for. The 322 corrections officers represent the largest single BCSO unit.
  • Special Services Unit. Transports roughly 12,000 prisoners between facilities each year, supplies back-up security at the courthouse and jail, and assists local police with high-risk prisoner movements or traffic/crowd control.
  • Operations Unit. The BCSO’s “nerve center” coordinates departmental activities, responds to and manages all telecommunications, and provides translation services in over 100 languages to any law enforcement agency.
  • Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The crime scene unit works with local law enforcement by collecting on-site evidence at crime scenes, analyzing forensic evidence and offering expert testimony in court. The detective unit provides manpower and technical assistance in investigations involving gang activity, fugitive apprehensions, missing persons or internal affairs.
  • Information Technology Unit. Designs and maintains all computer systems, including Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management software.
  • Community Outreach Unit. Offers community programs on such issues as alcohol/drug abuse, school violence, gun safety and senior citizen security.
  • Emergency Response Team. Responds to a wide range of emergencies.
  • Rapid Deployment Force. Members have received specialized training to respond to a variety of control and custody situations.
  • Special Operations Group. Responsible for pre-planned operations requiring heavy weapons, such as an active shooter in a public place. Members have been trained at either the FBI or the National Tactical Officers S.W.A.T. School.

Sheriff’s officers may also be assigned to patrol duty, dispute intervention, traffic control/enforcement, or motor vehicle accident investigation.

The steps you need to take if you’re interested in learning how to become a Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer are:

  1. Meet requirements and fill out an application.
  2. Take and pass civil service examination.
  3. Undergo medical, psychological and background examinations.
  4. Receive an Assignment.
  5. Attend a Training Program.

Step 1. Meet Requirements and Apply

You must fulfill the following requirements for your application to be accepted:

  • Be a Citizen of the United States.
  • Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.

If you meet these requirements, check for job openings and download an application form here. Follow instructions for returning the completed application. You can also check for job openings at the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, 10 Main St., Hackensack NJ 07601; Tel: 201/646-2200.

Step 2. Take and Pass Civil Service Examination

After your application has been accepted you will receive a notice of the time and place to take the civil service general knowledge written examination.

Step 3. Undergo Medical, Psychological and Background Examinations

You will be scheduled for both a routine physical and a psychological evaluation to determine your physical and mental ability to do the work of a sheriff’s officer. Your past employment, school records, credit history, driving record, etc. will be thoroughly investigated.

Step 4. Receive an Assignment

You will be given a work assignment as a trainee.

Step 5. Attend a Training Program

During the first few months of employment you will be required to attend training courses certified by the New Jersey Police Training Commission.

Burlington County Sheriff Department Jobs

Burlington County covers 819 square miles, making it by far the largest county in New Jersey. The Burlington sheriff’s office, established in 1682, is currently headed by the first female sheriff to serve the citizens of Burlington County.

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The state of New Jersey does not recognize “Deputy Sheriff” as a job title. Rather, the New Jersey position of “Sheriff’s Officer” best describes the position. Sheriff’s officers in Burlington County are divided among the following divisions:

  • Courts Division. Sheriff’s officers are responsible for prisoner transportation and court security; the latter includes screening entrances to the four court complex buildings and all criminal courtrooms,  as well as K9 explosive detection.
  • Sheriff’s Warrant Unit. Sheriff’s officers track down and apprehend both fugitives from justice and child support offenders for whom a warrant has been issued. There are roughly 500 active fugitive warrants in Burlington County every year. Unit members also serve restraining orders.
  • Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.). Team members are trained in special tactics and weapons in order to respond to such high-risk situations as an active shooter, hostage situation or terrorist incident.
  • Community Services Division. Responsibilities include senior services, gang prevention, defensive driving courses, bicycle safety training, crossing guard training, child fingerprinting, child safety seat inspections, gun safety locks, D.A.R.E., internet safety, youth police academy and a holiday toy drive.
  • Bicycle Patrol Unit. Sheriff’s officers on bicycles can patrol areas not accessible by car and function more effectively during crowd events like parades.

County sheriff’s offices hire employees from a list of eligible candidates provided by the New Jersey Division of Personnel. The steps you must take to become a sheriff’s officer in Burlington County are:

  1. Search for Job Announcement
  2. Complete and Submit Application
  3. Take Civil Service Examination
  4. Personal interview
  5. Physical and Psychological Examinations
  6. Job Offer
  7. Training Classes

Step 1. Search for Job Announcement

Go to the Civil Service Commission’s job listings page to see if jobs are open for a sheriff’s officer in Burlington County. Review qualifications to be sure you are eligible. You may also inquire about job openings at the Burlington County Sheriff’s Office, County Administration Building, 49 Rancocas Road, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060; Tel. 609-265-5127.

Step 2. Complete and Submit Application

Go to Civil Service Commission site and either fill out and submit the online application or download and print out the application form. Be sure all information is accurate and complete. Mail completed applications to the Open Competitive Application Processing Section, New Jersey Civil Service Commission, Box 321, Trenton, NJ 08625-032 OR return it in person to the Civil Service Commission at 44 South Clinton Ave. in Trenton.

Step 3. Take Civil Service Examination

If your application is accepted you will be sent a time/place to take the general knowledge civil service examination. You will be rated according to your score. The highest ranking applications will be certified and placed on the eligible-for-hire list.

Step 4. Personal Interview

If your application is selected you will be requested to come to the Burlington Sheriff’s Office in Mt. Holly for a personal interview.

Step 5. Physical and Psychological Examination

You will be scheduled for a medical exam and a psychological evaluation to assure that you are physically and mentally fit for the work of a sheriff’s officer.

Step 6. Job Offer

You will receive an offer for a specific job as a Burlington County Sheriff’s Officer.

Step 7. Training Classes

You will be required to attend training classes offered by the New Jersey Police Training Commission.

Ocean County Sheriff Department Jobs

Ocean County covers 916 square miles along the Jersey Shore and has 579,369 residents (2011 census).  “Deputy Sheriff” is not a New Jersey job title; “sheriff’s officer” is the title given to the distinguished men and women who fill these jobs. Sheriff’s Officer duties include:

  • Maintaining order and security in courtrooms.
  • Serving court processes.
  • Transporting prisoners.
  • Participating in criminal investigations.
  • Apprehending violators of the law.
  • Running criminal identifications and ballistics tests.
  • Patrolling assigned areas.
  • Participating in search & rescue operations.
  • Taking part in community services.
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Sheriff’s Officer is a civil service position in New Jersey and recruiting conforms to civil service rules. County sheriff offices can only hire employees from a certified list of eligible employees supplied by the state Department of Personnel. This guide is designed for those interested in learning how to become a sheriff’s officer in Ocean County:

  1. Look for job opening announcement.
  2. Check to see if you qualify.
  3. Fill out and submit application.
  4. Take civil service test.
  5. Undergo a background investigation.
  6. Pass the civil service physical agility test.
  7. Participate in an oral interview.
  8. Pass medical, psychological and drug screenings.

Step 1. Job Opening Announcement

Check the New Jersey Department of Personnel list of job openings available online. You can also inquire about openings at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, 120 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ 08754; tel: 732-929-2044. Speak with recruiting officers Lieutenant Laurie Cahill or Officer Michelle Polina, 732-929-2189, for additional information.

Step 2. Qualifications

The Ocean County Sheriff’s Office requirements for consideration as a candidate for sheriff’s officer jobs are as follows:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • Resident of Ocean County
  • At least 18 Years Old
  • High School Graduate or Equivalent
  • Valid New Jersey Driver’s License
  • No Criminal Convictions
  • Good Moral Character

Step 3. Application

You can either fill out and submit your application online or print it out to fill in by hand. Applications are available at The website also has helpful tips and answers to frequently asked questions. Try to be as accurate and complete as possible. Mail completed applications to the Open Competitive Application Processing Section, New Jersey Civil Service Commission, Box 321, Trenton, NJ 08625-032 or return in person at 44 South Clinton Ave. in Trenton.

Step 4. Civil Service Examination

You will receive a written notice of the time and place to take the civil service general knowledge written examination two to three weeks ahead. The examination site will be as close to you as possible. You are required to bring the notice with you, along with a photo ID and three #2 pencils. Pocket calculators are allowed but no cell phones. Exams are scored and ranked to form a list of eligible candidates.

Step 5. Background Investigation

There will be a thorough investigation of your past employment, school records, credit history, driving record, criminal/violent behavior, etc., to determine whether you meet the standards for the position of sheriff’s officer.

Step 6. Physical Agility Test

You will be given a physical agility test that includes exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and running in order to determine whether you are physically able to perform the functions required of a sheriff’s officer.

Step 7. Oral Interview

You will be scheduled for a personal job interview at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office.

Step 8. Screenings

You will be required to have a routine physical with a physician, a psychological evaluation and a drug screening to determine your suitability for the position.

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