Orange County Insight September 2022

Orange County Sheriff ’ s Office Seeks the Right Applicants for Open Deputy Positions

By: Orange County Communications Department

Integrity, leadership, and service are the three (3) core values of the Orange County Sheriff ’ s Office. Currently, the Office is seeking applicants for several open positions, particularly as School Resource Officers. Applicants who possess these same values as core components of their character are encouraged to apply. The application, selection, and training process is designed to help ensure that those chosen are qualified and prepared to face the many challenges of law enforcement, and diligently serve the residents of Orange County. The basic application requirements are straightforward. Applicants must be 21 years of age or older (or turn 21 before graduating from the police academy). They must live either in Orange County or within 20 minutes of the county line. If they do not currently meet these residency requirements, they must be willing to relocate. Applicants must possess a valid Virginia driver ’ s license and have good driving history. While it is preferred, previous law enforcement experience is not required. Those with the proper attitude and skillset will receive rigorous training before they work on their own. Applications can be downloaded from the Orange County website, but must be returned directly to the Sheriff ’ s Office for consideration. A handwritten cover letter is required.

Those selected from the applicant pool will next undergo a Law Enforcement Work Performance Test, which is designed to simulate the physically demanding work required of deputies. This obstacle course requires the applicant to jump over a ditch, climb over a wall, crawl under a barrier, simulate climbing stairs, navigate through a window, memorize and identify a suspect, drag a 160lb dummy body, and demonstrate safe handling of a training firearm. All stations must be completed within a predetermined timeframe. Following completion of the fitness test, applicants proceed indoors to watch a short video. From this video, they will be asked to write a narrative describing the events they witnessed. Completing this written narrative, effectively, demonstrates the applicant ’ s ability to remember events accurately and convey that information to others, which is a key component of policework.

Those still in consideration will next be scheduled for an interview with senior Sheriff ’ s Office staff. Background and drug screening may also be required at this stage, and will be required before an offer is made. Finally, a prospective deputy must qualify with a firearm by demonstrating safe and effective use on the range. If all requirements are met to satisfaction, an offer will be made. Applicants accepting the offer who are not already certified officers must commit to four (4) years with the Orange County Sheriff ’ s Office. This requirement is not applied to current officers. If inexperienced, applicants will next attend the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy in Fredericksburg. This 19 - week program provides a foundation for solid law enforcement skills. Upon completion of the academy, field training will continue for two additional months before a deputy is permitted to work on their own. Residents should be assured that this extensive process is in place to promote the hiring of competent, qualified personnel. In truth, the job is not for everyone. According to Captain Jason Smith, “ it requires a commitment beyond a regular 8 to 5, you often encounter folks on their worst days, but must maintain a

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