Deputy Sheriff Trainee FAQ



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1. How often do you take applications and test for Deputy Sheriff Trainee?

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office conducts recruitment drives periodically for Deputy Sheriff Trainee. These typically occur over a period of 1-2 months and are held on average 2 or 3 times per year, depending on the number of vacancies. Click on the Employment Opportunities tab to view current career opportunities. The Ventura County Human Resources web page ( has the latest career listing updated weekly.

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2. What are the requirements for Lateral Transfer Deputy Sheriff?

You may apply as a Lateral Transfer by meeting the following requirements: U.S. High School Diploma or GED; a valid California driver’s license; a basic California Commission Peace Officer Standards & Training certificate and currently employed full-time as a sworn law enforcement officer with a qualifying California agency.  Out-of-state peace officers will have to apply for Deputy Sheriff Trainee.  The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) was established by the Legislature in 1959 to set minimum selection and training standards for California law enforcement.  The POST organization, with more than 130 staff members, functions under the direction of an Executive Director appointed by the Commission.

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3. What does the written test include?

The test consists of 100 multiple choice questions, divided into 4 sections of 25 questions each.  The first section is on Observation and Memory. You will have 10 minutes to review 5 or 6 mug shots and crime scenes. After 10 minutes, you will be asked 25 questions regarding that information. You will not be allowed to refer back to the pictures. The next 25 questions are on Written Communication/Report Writing (grammar). The third section is Reading and Understanding Written Information (vocabulary), and the final 25 questions are on Reasoning/Analytical Ability (map reading).

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4. How can I study for the written exam? Is there a study guide available?

The written exam is designed mainly to test your writing and reading comprehension skills.  There are numerous resources, such as Barron’s Police Officer Exam, 6th Edition and Norman Hall’s Police Exam Prep Book, available for review.  Entry-level police examination study guides by various publishers, such as Barron’s, Acro, and Learning Express, are available at your local bookstore.  There are online resources available as well such as:,,, and

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5. What is the physical agility test?

The physical agility test consists of six (6) events that are timed and scored separately.  These events include:

  • Agility Run:  This test simulates a short distance foot pursuit and requires frequent changes in direction while running as fast as possible.  (Distance: 99 yards)
  • Body Drag:  This test simulates dragging a 165 pound physically incapacitated person to safety. (Distance: 32 feet).
  • Chain link Fence Climb:  This test measures your ability to run and scale a six (6) foot chain link fence in as short a time as possible.  (Distance: 30 yards)
  • Solid Fence Climb:  This test measures your ability to run and scale a six (6) foot solid fence in as short a time as possible.  (Distance: 30 yards)
  • 1 Mile Run:  This test simulates a long distance foot pursuit.  Must be completed in 10 minutes or less.  (Distance: 1 mile
  • Trigger Pull

All events, except for the one mile run, can be performed twice if failed on the first attempt.

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6. Where is the academy and how long is the training program?

The training program is conducted at the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center, located at the Camarillo Airport, 106 Durley Avenue, Camarillo, CA.  The Training Center operates Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The training program is 25-weeks, which includes 2 weeks of orientation or pre-academy.  The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) sanctions the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center.  The academy is organized through the combined efforts of all Tri-County law enforcement agencies in cooperation with Ventura Community College and is operated and staffed under the direction of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

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7. How long is the background process?

Most applicants complete the background process in 2-3 months.  The duration of the background process may vary on a case-by-case basis.

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8. Do you get additional points for being in the military service?

Due to the fact that the written exam is scored on a pass/fail basis, no additional points are awarded.  However, special skills, training, experience, and education will be taken into consideration.  We are an equal opportunity employer.

9. How much time will I have to spend working in custody before I can work patrol?

Following graduation from the academy, a newly appointed Deputy Sheriff is assigned to Detention Services.  In either a detention or courts environment the deputy will have the opportunity to learn first hand about the criminal justice system and the criminal element.  The length of time spent in Detention Services varies from year to year depending upon department operational needs.

10. I went through a California P.O.S.T. sanctioned academy on my own. Will I still have to go through the Sheriff’s Academy if I am hired?

In most cases the answer is yes.  You will be trained in accordance to local police practice and procedure.  Only Lateral Transfers are exempt from the academy program.

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