How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in Tennessee

Davidson County Sheriff Department Jobs

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) provides law enforcement for the area of middle Tennessee that includes Nashville and more than a dozen other communities. The DCSO’s duties include managing the county jail and serving civil warrants.

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The following guide will give you an understanding of how to become a Davidson County Sheriff Deputy in five steps:

  1. Standards of the DCSO
  2. Submitting your application
  3. Civil service Examination
  4. Physical examination
  5. Training Academy

Step 1. Verify you Meet the Standards of the DCSO

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Must be 21 years of age when hired
  • Valid “Class D” driver’s license
  • U.S. citizen
  • Ability to communicate well verbally and when writing

Step 2. Submit Your Application

To be eligible for Davidson County deputy sheriff jobs, you must join the department as a correctional officer:

  • To fill out an application, go to or click here to apply.
  • You must first register to create an account. You will need an email address because all information, including testing and interview dates, will be sent via email.

Step 3. Civil Service Examination

After your application is reviewed, you will receive notification via email for the time and place to take a civil service examination. If you pass the civil service exam you will be placed on an active register and notified of the next steps.

Step 4. Physical Examination

If you are selected for an available correctional officer job at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, you will be required to:

  • Undergo a physical examination at Lentz Public Health Center by a licensed Metro Public Health physician at a time to be determined.
  • Complete a Medical History form and submit it when you take your physical examination.
  • Complete a Personal History Statement
  • Submit to a drug test

Step 5. Interview and Employment Offer

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office will conduct all final interviews of candidates, perform final background checks and offer employment to selected applicants.

After you receive an offer of employment, you will be:

  • Authorized to obtain your uniforms at Greene Military
  • Notified by email of the date of pre-hire orientation
  • Notified of schedule for Academy training that is conducted by the Davidson County sheriff’s Office

Knox County Sheriff Department Jobs

In the eastern part of Tennessee, the largest law enforcement agency is the Knox County Sheriff’s Department. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office Merit System Council is assigned the duty of handling the hiring process for all candidates interested in Knox County sheriff’ deputy jobs.

If you’re interested in learning how to become a Knox County sheriff’s deputy, follow the steps described in this guide.

  1. Deputy Sheriff General Qualifications
  2. Application Submission and Fingerprinting
  3. Background and Medical Screens
  4. Interview
  5. Knox County Sheriff Regional Training Academy

Step 1. Make Sure you Meet the Deputy Sheriff General Qualifications

  • Foremost, all candidates must be of good character.
  • A thorough background investigation will be made, including fingerprinting, and candidates should have no felony convictions.
  • The minimum age for applicants at the time of appointment is 21 years old.
  • You must also have, at a minimum, a high school diploma or a GED certification.
  • You must be a citizen of the United States and have a current driver’s license.

Step 2. Application Submission and Fingerprinting

An application for a Knox County Deputy Sheriff position can be downloaded online.

Fingerprinting is one of initial pre-employment requirements that must be completed. Fill out your application completely in blue or black ink and bring it with you so it can be notated that you have been fingerprinted. Fingerprinting is available at no charge from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Room 305 in the City/County Building L-3, 400 Main Street.

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When you’re ready to submit your application, you must attach copies of your birth certificate, high school diploma or GED and driver’s license. A photo that shows a full-face likeness and that was taken within the past three (3) months must also accompany the application. If you have been in the military, a DD-214 must also be attached.

Turn in your completed application with the fingerprint notation and the required attachments to the Merit System office any time from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Merit System office in the Andrew Johnson Office Building
912 S Gay Street, Suite L-100
Knoxville, Tennessee, 37902

For questions, call 865-215-4446

Step 3. Background Check, Eligibility Tests and Medical Screens

A background investigation will be undertaken, which may include personal contact with references, friends, acquaintances and family, as well as a credit check.

You will be required to take both a written examination and have an oral interview.

A test to ensure you have the physical agility to perform the duties required of a sheriff deputy will be given.

You will have both a medical examination by a physician and a psychological examination by either a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

Step 4. Interview and Drug Testing

The Knox County Sheriff’s Department will conduct interviews with the final pool of qualified candidates. Those offered employment would undergo drug testing and be required to enroll in training.

Step 5. Knox County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy

New deputy sheriffs will undergo a 12-week training program at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Academy, which will cover a range of tactics from firearms to pursuit driving skills.

If you successfully complete the Academy training, you are eligible for the Tennessee Peace Officer Standard Training (POST) certificate.

Shelby County Sheriff Department Jobs

The Sheriff Department of Shelby County, Tennessee is responsible for law enforcement for the citizens of Memphis, Lakeland, Millington, Germantown, Collierville, Arlington, and Bartlett.

If you would like to learn how to become a Shelby County deputy sheriff, use this guide for an understanding of the steps involved in the hiring process:

  1. Meet Deputy Sheriff General Qualifications
  2. Submit an Application
  3. Hiring Process
  4. Sheriff’s Office Law Training Academy

Step 1. Meet the Deputy Sheriff General Qualifications

To qualify for a deputy sheriff job in Shelby County, you must meet the following standards:

  • Possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate,
  • Be a minimum of 21 years old when appointed
  • Be a citizen of the U.S. (Shelby County government uses E-Verify)
  • You should have no felony charges on your record
  • If you previously served in the Armed Forces, you must have been discharged honorably
  • Once hired, all deputy sheriffs must be a resident of Shelby County

Step 2. Submit Your Application

If you believe you are qualified, current job openings and the open hiring period for a Shelby County Deputy Sheriff job are posted online through the Shelby County Human Resources Department.

The annual recruitment process is typically held in the spring.

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Here you’ll find a sample application form.

Step 3. Hiring Process

Candidates will undergo a thorough background screening. The hiring process itself consists of the following:

  • Pass a written examination administered by the Law Enforcement Personnel Board.
  • Personal interview
  • References will be verified and checked
  • Fingerprinting and a search undertaken by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to ensure there is no criminal record.
  • Examination by a psychiatrist or psychologist to certify that candidates are suitable for the duties required
  • Medical examination
  • Two-phase test of physical ability and agility (here is a checklist of test events )
  • Drug screen urine test
  • Formal offer of employment

Step 4. Sheriff’s Office Training Academy

In addition to on-the-job training, new deputy sheriffs are required to enroll and pass forty-hours of basic training in the Shelby County Peace Officer Instructor Development School.

Contact the Shelby County Law Enforcement Personnel Board at (205) 670-6121 for more information.

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