How To Become A Police Officer in Maricopa County

Becoming a police officer in Maricopa County is a little bit different. Being a sheriff deputy in Maricopa county isn’t like being a police officers in the regular sense. Police officers are usually bound to a jurisdiction and work within city limits. Sheriffs, their deputies and other officers who work in a sheriff’s office uphold and enforce laws in the county. Unlike a police chiefs, sheriffs are usually elected by the public and then appoint deputies as they see fit.

Sheriffs usually cooperate with a wide range of different federal and local government agencies inside their jurisdiction, such as park rangers. Unlike city cops, they often have a larger area to patrol. This area can include the county, its highways and surrounding roads, lakes and other places of interest.

The process of applying for an officer position under the Maricopa County office is the same as applying for a police officer position in any city. Any US citizen or permanent resident who has applied for citizen can apply for the position.

Hiring Process

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. However, you can take the written test if you are turning 21 within the year. Previous experience in law enforcement is not necessary. However, the applicant must provide a GED equivalency diploma, high school diploma or college diploma or degree upon application. Any of the above will do.

Physical Fitness Test

Like any civic service position, a candidate up for an officer position should reasonably fit and pass a fitness test. For Arizona this often includes a 1.5 mile run, 300 meter sprints, agility, strength and endurance tests. This usually translates to push-ups, sit-ups and bench press stats. The fitness test is one of the most difficult parts of applying for the officer position. Before attempting it, the candidate must be reasonably sure of his fitness and strength.

Background Check

A thorough background check will be conducted. In general, this means checking for any felonies as well as asking for proof of good moral conduct and reputation. A letter attesting to the applicant’s good moral conduct is often enough.

The county will also investigate the applicant’s credit history and finding bad credit is often a disqualifying factor. Once the applicant checks out, the county will administer the official police examination and interview. The content of the examination is often basic, with questions any high school graduate can answer.

Oral Board Interview

Interviews are usually behavioral and interviewers will look for skills and personality traits that best make an officer. Finally, after rigorous testing, a basic psychological test is also administered to see if the candidate is fit for the position. Passing all three exams qualifies the applicant for entrance to the police academy.

Police Academy

If hired you’ll be sent to the law enforcement academy. Once inside the academy, a candidate will learn basic and advanced skills needed for a career in law enforcement. This includes handling firearms, defensive driving as well as mental preparation and schooling. This is the most difficult part of the process. Many recruits who qualify for the academy don’t graduate. It’s a tough school for an equally tough job. Only the best will make it.

If you’re dead set on a police officer career, send in your application to the Maricopa County sheriff’s office. Good luck!