Deputy Sheriff Job Description

Deputy Sheriffs provide law enforcement services in counties. This includes protecting citizens and property by patrolling neighborhoods, citing reckless drivers, making arrests, responding to calls for assistance and serving warrants, among other tasks. Their actions keep communities safe and help prevent future criminal activities from occurring. Some cities contract with sheriff’s departments to provide municipal law enforcement services, as well. In that case, A deputy Sheriff functions as a city police officer.

Deputy Sheriffs work under the command of a Sheriff, which is typically an elected position. They may perform their duties independently or may have another Deputy Sheriff as a partner. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Detectives are expected to see a job increase of 4 percent through 2024. This will add an estimated 33,100 jobs to this sector during this period.


Deputy Sheriff Duties and Responsibilities

The duties assigned to a Deputy Sheriff are often many and varied. There are some common tasks most Deputy Sheriffs can expect to undertake though, regardless of where they work. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.

Conduct Patrols

Patrolling neighborhoods to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens is one of the main duties of many Deputy Sheriffs. While patrolling they may perform traffic stops, issue citations, respond to calls, or assist the public in any other manner necessary. Some Deputy Sheriffs work solo, while others work as partners. For many Deputy Sheriffs, patrol work will be a daily duty.

Book and Process Prisoners

Deputy Sheriffs are often tasked with performing the duties related to booking and processing new prisoners. This may include performing searches, processing fingerprints and establishing suspects’ ID, logging suspects’ belongings into inventory and preparing and filing documentation. Depending on the setup of the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sheriffs may perform these tasks for inmates they personally arrest, or may spend a shift performing these duties for all incoming prisoners.

Crime Scene Investigation

Deputy Sheriffs are often the first one to arrive on a crime scene and must protect the scene from any tampering or loss of evidence. They may be required to tape off the area, setup barriers, perform crowd control or collect and process evidence. They may also interview witnesses or canvass the neighborhood for possible witnesses.


Deputy Sheriff Skills

Honesty and trustworthiness are important traits for the Deputy Sheriff to possess. They should also enjoy helping others and be great problem solvers. They should work well under pressure and have strong critical reasoning skills. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Deputy Sheriff with these core skills. Focus on the following, if you wish to become a Deputy Sheriff.

  • Passing physical and psychological exams
  • Proficiency with common computer programs, such as Microsoft Office and Excel
  • Knowledge of criminal, civil and probate laws
  • Police academy training or its equivalent

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.

  • Corrections Certification
  • Fluent in additional languages


Deputy Sheriff Resources

There are additional resources available on the Web for those interested in working in the law enforcement field. We searched the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

On the Web

Police Magazine – A magazine dedicated to providing the police community with articles about safety, training, technology, and industry news. The magazine is offered in print and digital formats and their website offers wonderful law enforcement resources.

American Police Beat – This is one of the highest circulated and read magazines for police professionals in the nation. With useful articles and plenty of resources, this is a great investment for those interested in police work.


@LACyberCop – Follow Tony Moore, an L.A. County Deputy Sheriff and professional instructor and speaker, to learn about the latest news and trends in the police field as well as get inspiration.

@DeputyPaul1 – Get a glimpse of what it’s like to work as a Deputy Sheriff in the parks bureau by following Paul Schrader. Deputy Schrader works for the L.A. County Sheriff’s department working exclusively in the L.A. County parks.

Deputy Sheriff Books

Introduction to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice – This text provides a comprehensive look at everything an officer of the law should know about law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

300 Deputy Sheriff Exam: Questions and Answers – A wonderful resource for those seeking certification as a Deputy Sheriff, this guidebook provides questions and answers to the many areas covered on most exams.

400 Things Cops Should Know: Street-Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman – Ever wonder what the day to day life of patrol officer is like? This book can answer that question and provide insights and tips for thriving and surviving a career as an officer of the law.

Industry Groups

Association for Deputy Sheriffs – ADS is a non-profit charitable organization created to support Deputy Sheriffs by providing education, training, safety protocols, and donations to families of fallen officers.

National Sheriffs’ Association – The NSA was established in 1940 and serves the Office of Sheriff and its employees by offering state of the art training, education programs, and resources for officers.


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