San Diego County Sheriff Offering Extended Open Application Period
For the first time in nearly a year, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is accepting applications for an extended period of time.
An open application period runs Jan. 2 through Jan. 12.
Commander Mike Barnett said the department usually accepts applications only once a month because it receives more than it can process.
"We’re essentially fully staffed on the sworn side of the house, with our deputy sheriff classifications we essentially have no vacancies," Barnett said. "But we have 2,600 sworn positions, so we have some attrition that we have to deal with."
The county department's staffing scenario sharply differs from that at the city level. For years, the San Diego Police Department has struggled to recruit and retain officers. Last year, the department hired 160 officers, but lost 162. Of those that left, 98 retired and 17 left for other agencies, while the rest didn't provide a reason.
Barnett said the Sheriff's Department loses on average about 150 deputies a year, mostly to retirement.
"So that comes out to be between 100 and 150 deputies a year we have to hire just to keep pace with attrition," he said.
Ideal candidates should have a clean record. A college degree or military experience is helpful. The department specifically encourages women to apply. Right now, females make up only about 15 to 18 percent of the force, Barnett said.
The department is also hiring nurses through Jan. 13 and accepts applications for emergency dispatchers throughout the year.
Barnett said the extended open application period is helpful to people who have wanted to apply in the past, but don't have the time to get it done in one day.
"We wish we could do that every month, but we simply just don't have the capacity to process that many," he said.
Qualified applicants should be contacted within a week, Barnett said.
If an applicant continues to pass each step in the process, including a written exam, a background check and a medical exam, the next law enforcement academy they'd join would likely be in April.