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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL
Who can I call or write for more information?
Are you currently hiring/testing?
What are the minimum requirements?

WRITTEN EXAM

How do I register for the exam?
What if I didn’t get instructions on how to register?
Do you accept other agencies T-scores?
What does the written exam entail?
What should I study for the written test?
How long are the test results good for?
Where do I go for the written examination?
If I fail the exam, when can I retake the exam?
Who do I call if I don’t get my exam score?
If I have my DD214 where do I send it?
Do Veteran’s Preference Points help me?
How long does it take for me to get my results?
I just took an exam with another agency, how do I know if it’s a California POST exam?

HIRING PROCESS
Can I apply for both positions at the same time?
What is the average hiring time/process?
What else is included in the hiring process?
How long does it take to get hired?
I am currently on active duty in the military, how should I start the process?
What is the hiring process if I live out of the county or state?
What does the Physical Agility Test entail?
I have something in my background I’m not sure of; can I talk to a recruiter about it?
What is your Department Tattoo Policy?
If I have questions about my background and would like to speak to someone, who can I contact?
I’m in the military and I have top security clearance, can this speed up my hiring process?

LATERAL
I’m a peace officer/have a current and valid POST certification/just graduated from a police academy, where do I begin my process?
I’m a peace officer from another state, how do I begin my process? 
If I work state corrections and I have a corrections certificate, do I qualify for the lateral position?
I signed up for a qualification shoot and I have not received any information regarding it, who do I contact?
Given the pension reform legislation signed by Governor Brown that will go into effect on January 1, 2013, how will my retirement be impacted if I lateral from my current department to the Sheriff's Department after that date?

SALARY AND BENEFITS
What is the starting salary?
What benefits does the department offer?

ACADEMY TRAINING
Do you have to go through an academy?
Who pays for me attending the academy, the department or myself?
Where is the academy located?
How long will I have to attend the academy?
Do you live at the academy?
What is the basic schedule while attending the academy?
Will I be paid and receive benefits while attending the academy?

 

 

 

GENERAL

Who can I call or write for more information?
Email the recruiters: recruit@sdsheriff.org (Fastest response)

24-hour recorded department job line: (858) 974-2000

Mailing address:
     San Diego Sheriff’s Department
     Attn: Recruiting Unit
     9621 Ridgehaven Court
     San Diego, CA 92123
     USA

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Are you currently hiring/testing?
Yes, we are currently hiring and testing for entry-level Deputy Sheriffs, Deputy Sheriff Detentions/Courts, and Deputy Sheriffs Lateral. 

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Who do I contact to change my personal information?
If you are assigned a background investigator, contact them directly.  Otherwise, contact the County of San Diego Department of Human Resources at (619) 236-2191.

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What are the minimum requirements?
Deputy Sheriff Patrol:

  • U.S. citizen or resident in the process of becoming a US citizen.
  • 20 ½ years of age at time of application; 21 years of age at time of appointment
  • is no maximum age limit)
  • U.S. High School graduate or G.E.D.
  • No felony convictions. Not on Probation. Misdemeanors may be disqualifying depending on the number, type of violation, and date of the violation.
  • Vision: 20/100 uncorrected, corrected to at least 20/30.
  • Valid California Driver’s License prior to appointment. Valid photo ID to take the written exam
  • Effective oral and written communications in English

Deputy Sheriff Detentions/Courts:

  • Age 18 at the time of the test. (There is no maximum age limit)
  • U.S. citizen or Resident Alien in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen
  • U.S. High School graduate or G.E.D.
  • No felony convictions. Not on Probation. Misdemeanors may be disqualifying depending on the number, type of violation, and date of the violation.
  • Vision: 20/100 uncorrected, corrected to at least 20/30.
  • Valid California Driver’s License prior to appointment. Valid photo ID to take the written exam
  • Effective oral and written communications in English.

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WRITTEN EXAM

How do I register for the exam?

Once you submit your application, you will receive an e-mail confirming it’s been accepted.   It will also include instructions on how to self-register. 

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What if I didn’t get instructions on how to register?

You need to contact County of San Diego County Department of Human Resources at 619-236-2191

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Do you accept other agencies T-scores?

No, currently we do not accept these although other agencies do.  Unfortunately, you will need to take our written exam.

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What does the written exam entail?

The written examination includes the following sections:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • English Grammar
  • Sentence Construction
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling

Click here to take a practice exam

The Sheriff’s Department initial exam does not include a written essay like the practice exam, but you will be asked to write an essay sometime through the process. There is no math on our exam.

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What should I study for the written test?

The public library, or local bookstores should have literature on Entry Level Law Enforcement or Corrections Officer examinations. Concentrate on improving your reading comprehension, which is a major factor in the written exam. Read each question slowly. Choose the best possible answer. There are no trick questions on the written exam. You should try and answer every question because those questions left blank will be marked wrong. Take your time.

Click here to take the Practice Entry Level Exam from the Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) website.

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How long are the test results good for?

The test results on the written examination are good for one year from the date of the test.  However, you may retake the exam after the application number changes, which usually every six months.

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Where do I go for the written examination?

The written exam is offered several times a month at the Sheriff’s Administration Center. Click here for a complete testing schedule.

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If I take the exam and fail, when can I retake the exam?

You may retake the exam when the exam number changes which is roughly every 6 months.

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Who do I call if I don’t get my exam score?

Call the San Diego County Department of Human Resources at (619) 236-2191. 

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If I have my DD214, where do I send it?

In order to be eligible for Veterans Preference Points, candidates must scan their DD-214 forms and email the copies as an attachment to the San Diego County Department of Human Resources (DHR) at Processunitemail.fgg@sdcounty.ca.gov. DHR must receive the copies of a candidate’s DD-214 prior to their receipt of the candidates final exam score from California P.O.S.T. Candidates can confirm DHR’s receipt of their DD-214 forms by calling DHR at (619) 236-2191.

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Do Veteran’s Preference Points help me?

For V.P.P., the County of San Diego Department of Human Resources will add points to your written score.

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How long does it take to get my test results?
3-6 weeks

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I just took an exam with another agency, how do I know if it was a California POST Exam?

You will have to contact the agency where the test was administered.  If you take two California POST exams within a 30-day period, your second exam will be void.

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HIRING PROCESS

Can I apply for both positions at the same time?

Yes! The POST Entry Level Law Enforcement Exam is used as the pre-employment exam for BOTH classifications. You  can complete both applications and take just one exam. You are strongly encouraged to apply for both classifications, because the Deputy Sheriff position is very competitive!

You must apply for both prior to taking the exam, otherwise you only qualify for that one position.

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What is the average hiring time/process?

This varies depending on number of job vacancies.

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What is included in the hiring process?

  • STEP 1. Written Exam (Relative weight 100%, Passing 70%)
  • STEP 2. Comprehensive background investigation
  • STEP 3. Physical Agilities Test
  • STEP 4. Truth Verification (CVSA) Exam and Employment Interview
  • STEP 5. Psychological Evaluation
  • STEP 6. Medical Exam

Click here to learn more about the hiring process.

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How long does it take to get hired?

It takes between three months to over a year to complete the hiring process, all based on the number of vacancies the department has.

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I am currently on active duty in the military, how should I start the process?

You should take the written test when you have eight months or less left to serve in the military. If you are stationed out of the area or state, you will need to follow the instructions in the FAQ What is the hiring process if I live out of the county or state? Unfortunately, there are no special testing procedures if you live out of the country.

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What is the hiring process if I live out of the county or state?

Essentially, you will need to visit San Diego on at least three different occasions:

  • First Visit: You will have to complete the written exam for Deputy Sheriff and/or Deputy Sheriff Detentions/Courts. You will be notified by mail of your results.
  • Second Visit: You will have an interview with your background investigator, the Computer Voice Stress Analysis (truth verification exam) and an employment interview with a Lieutenant.
  • Third Visit: You will undergo a psyc: You will undergo a psychological evaluation and a medical evaluation. You will also take the physical agility testor these steps.

We will try to combine several of the hiring steps to eliminate the number of times you have to come to San Diego if possible. Once offered employment, you should expect to attend a new employee orientation within a few weeks.

What does the Physical Agility Test entail?
Completion of the Physical Agility Test (PAT) is required for the position of Law Enforcement Deputy Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Detentions/Court Services. This test is conducted towards the end of the hiring process. The physical agility test for Law Enforcement Deputy Sheriff consists of five separate events which are all timed events:

  • 99 yard obstacle course
  • 6' solid fence climb
  • 6' chain link fence climb
  • 165-pound life-like dummy drag for 32 Ft.
  • 500 Yard Run

The physical agility test for Deputy Sheriff Detentions/Court Services consists of four separate events which are all timed events:

  • 50 yard sprint
  • 165-pound life-like dummy drag for 20 feet
  • Walk 75 feet wearing a 30 pound air pack or weighted backpack
  • 15 yard walk/jog, climb flight of stairs and finish with 15 yard walk/jog

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I have something in my background I’m not sure of;  can I talk to a recruiter about it?

No, recruiters are not Background Investigators.  You will have to take the exam and attend the orientation/preliminary interview.  During the preliminary interview, you will have to disclose that information to one of the background detectives.  Based on everything you tell him, they will make a decision as to giving you an opportunity with the department or not.  Each case is treated individually.

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What is your Department Tattoo Policy?

Our body art policy states, “While on duty, personnel will not have any tattoo brand (intentional burning of skin to create a design) scarification (intentional cutting of the skin to create a design) visible on the face, neck or head. Visible tattoos that are prejudicial to good order and discipline are prohibited. Any brand or tattoo that is visible while wearing a class C uniform and detracts from a traditional law enforcement appearance is prohibited.”

“While on duty and in uniform or representing the Department in any official capacity, every reasonable effort should be made to conceal tattoos or other body art. At no time while on duty or while representing the Department in any official capacity shall any tattooed surface exceed 25% of the exposed body part.”

A Background Detective will look at your tattoos and make a final decision.

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If I have questions about my background and would like to speak to someone, who can I contact?

You may call the Background Unit at 858-974-2010.

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I’m in the military and I have top security clearance, can this speed up my hiring process?

No, our Background Detectives will still have to conduct a full background check.

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LATERAL

I’m a peace officer/have a current and valid POST certification/just graduated from a police academy, where do I begin my process?

You would not start from the beginning since you already have your certification.  You would qualify for the Lateral Program, click here.

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I’m a peace officer from another state, how do I begin my process? 

First, you would need to contact California POST to see if you qualify for a waiver.  Based on your training, they will determine whether or not you will or if you need some additional training in order to qualify.  http://www.post.ca.gov

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If I work state corrections and I have a corrections certificate, do I qualify for the lateral position?

No, you need the law enforcement Basic Level 1 POST certification.

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What happens after I take the qualification shoot?

After the qualification shoot, you will meet with Background Detectives who conduct a background pre-screen orientation.

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I signed up for a qualification shoot and I have not received any information regarding it, who do I contact?

Send us an email at recruit@sdsheriff.org a week before the qualification shoot.

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Given the pension reform legislation signed by Governor Brown that will go into effect on January 1, 2013, how will my retirement be impacted if I lateral from my current department to the Sheriff's Department after that date?

If you are first hired by the Sheriff’s Department on or after December 1, 2012, and establish reciprocity for a period of reciprocal service that began before January 1, 2013, you will be in Tier B. The benefit formula for Tier B members is 3% at age 55. If you do not establish reciprocity, you will be in Tier C. The benefit formula for Tier C members is 2.7% at age 57. To be eligible for reciprocity you must leave active membership in your previous California public retirement system and become a member with the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA) within six months. If you have additional questions regarding your tier or reciprocity please contact SDCERA at (619) 515-6800.

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SALARY AND BENEFITS

What is the starting salary?
Click here to view Deputy Sheriff pay charts.

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What benefits does the department offer?
Click here to view the benefits that the San Diego Sheriff’s Department offers.

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ACADEMY TRAINING
Do you have to go through an academy?
Candidates applying for entry level positions will attend an academy.

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Who pays for me attending the academy, the department or myself?
Upon successful completion of the hiring process, the department will pay for the academy.  Also, on your first day at the academy, your salary and benefits begin.

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Where is the academy located?
The academies for both the Deputy Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Detentions/Courts positions are located at the Miramar Regional Training Facility at Miramar College in San Diego.

Miramar Regional Training Facility
10440 Black Mountain Road
San Diego, CA 92126-2910

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How long will I have to attend the academy?
There are separate academies for both positions. The Deputy Sheriff’s Academy is 6 months (25 weeks). The Deputy Sheriff-Detentions/Courts Academy is 3 months (15 weeks).

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Do you live at the academy?
No, you do not live at the academy.

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What is the basic schedule while attending the academy?
The basic schedule is 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with some nights and weekends for training.

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Will I be paid and receive benefits while attending the academy?
Yes, pay and benefits begin on your first day at the academy.

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GOOD LUCK!