Join the Orange County Sheriff Reserves
The process for becoming a sworn Sheriff's Reserve Deputy is very similar to the process for becoming a full-time Sheriff's Deputy. There are physical, medical and psychological requirements, an extensive background investigation, specialized training and written exams.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department currently has four different levels of Reserve service, each with different levels of authority and responsibility. Level I, II & III Sheriff's Reserves are all sworn peace officers and must complete Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) certification in accordance with California State legislation and Orange County Sheriff Department hiring policies. Professional Services Responders (PSRs) are non-sworn volunteers who have no arrest powers, but who support the Sheriff's Department in other ways, donating their time and their private-sector expertise in a wide range of fields.
The information below covers the selection process for all sworn officers of the Orange County Sheriff's department. For additional suggestions on how to prepare yourself before applying, see the Pre-Employment Preparation page.
- Applicants must pass an extensive background investigation to the satisfaction of the Sheriff-coroner.
- Must be 20 years of age by date of written exam.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien who has filed for citizenship prior to application date.
- Must have a U.S. high school diploma, or a satisfactory score on the GED or California High School Proficiency test, or have an AA or BA from accredited U.S. school of higher education.
- Must have no felony convictions as a juvenile or adult AND cannot currently be on any form of probation.
- Must have no domestic violence convictions AND cannot currently be the subject of a domestic violence restraining order.
The written test is a general aptitude, multiple choice test based on skills needed to be a Deputy Sheriff. No prior knowledge of law enforcement is necessary to pass the test. Applicants are given 1-1/2 hours to complete the 100 question test. The test may consist of:
- Section I: Basic knowledge of spelling
- Section II: Arithmetic
- Section III: Judgment, interpersonal skills, vocabulary, comparison, analogy, report writing
- Section IV: Code Matching / Map Reading
- Learning Express Police Officer Exam (California Edition)
- Norman Hall's Police Exam (California Edition)
Physical Abilities Test
The P.A.T. consists of four events which are timed and scored. Pass or Fail (Dress in P.T. clothing)
- Obstacle Course: 3 foot high saw horse, Wooden Barricades, balance beam, 4 foot high hurdles, window and hall simulation run, 50 yard sprint, 15 sit-ups and 15 push-ups within 5 minutes.
- 440 Yard Run: Run 440 yards on a flat surface
- Dummy Drag: Drag a 165-pound dummy 15 feet on the ground
- Trigger Pull (pass/fail): Pull a trigger of a semi-automatic weapon six times with each hand
At the time of the test, a test monitor will describe the test more fully and answer any questions you might have. This is a physically strenuous test designed to simulate the actual physical demands placed on Deputy Sheriffs. If you are not in top physical condition, it is advised that you begin NOW to improve areas where you may need work.
NOTE: If you fail the Physical Agility Test, you will be retested at a later date. No further processing will occur until the Physical Agility Test has been passed.
Oral Board Interview
Once you have passed the written and physical agility test, you will proceed to an oral board interview. You will not be required to change outfits for the interview. The interview will consist of a series of questions posed to you by a panel consisting of a Sergeant, a Deputy Sheriff and a civilian from the local community.
You will be scheduled for an in-depth background interview with the investigator. You will need to bring your completed background packet, that was given to you at the written examination, to this appointment. The Sheriff's Department will conduct a thorough investigation of your background. You will be requested to authorize organizations and individuals that know you to release and verify relevant information about you. The Background Investigator will contact prior employers, relatives, and references. Information provided during these contacts may result in other individuals being contacted. The investigator will check into your employment history, credit status, driving record and other pertinent information. A criminal history check will also be made. During this appointment, you will be fingerprinted.
This process involves being connected to a polygraph (lie detector) while answering questions about such things as your application information, prior employment, possible alcohol and drug usage, gambling habits, economic condition, driving record, and possible criminal activities. During this session, the Polygraph Examiner will assess the truthfulness of your responses. The process will be completely explained to you before your test. The polygraph is given at the discretion of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
You will meet with a professional psychologist for an evaluation of your fitness for police work. The process will be completely explained to you before your evaluation.
As the final step of the process, individuals being considered for employment will be scheduled for a medical examination. The medical examination will be conducted by a physician designated by the County of Orange and will determine whether you meet the medical standards required to be an Orange County Deputy Sheriff.