Application Process and Testing

Application Process for Deputy Sheriff Positions

Click on each step in the image below to learn more. 


Step 1: Application

The first step of the hiring process is to apply. All open positions with the Sheriff’s Office are listed on the county’s job portal. To apply for a job with the county, simply press "apply" for the job in which you are interested. The portal will require you to create a profile and log in. Some applications may require you to complete supplemental questions or provide additional documentation. This is the generic application form required by the Humboldt County Human Resources Department. 

Step 2: Written Exam

The written exam for Deputy Sheriff is the Peace Officer Standards and Training Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery exam (PELLETB). This is a standardized test developed and approved by The Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training. It is designed to assess competency reading and language skills that are required of Deputy Sheriffs. A passing T- score of 42 on the PELLETB is required for employment the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. 

Step 3: Physical Agility Test

You will be required to complete a physical agility test that will include a 1.5-mile run (to be completed in 17 minutes or less), 25 push-ups, and 25 sit-ups. This is a pass/fail test. Recruits attending the Police Academy will be required to complete additional agility testing prior to graduation. For Academy requirements, please contact the Academy directly.

Step 4: Oral Interview

Provided you passed the above tests, you will then be invited to present yourself to a panel of interviewers from the Sheriff’s Office and Human Resources. You should be prepared to express yourself clearly, openly, and logically. You may be asked to respond to hypothetical situations; discuss your general job knowledge, education, training, and experience. This assessment will be given a numerical score.

Step 5:Document Intake

The beginning of your background process will start with a meeting with your Background Investigator and collecting required documents. This will likely include an interview, so be prepared to answer questions. While in the office it is not uncommon for command staff to see you, dress professional to make a good impression. 

Paperwork required for the background process to begin includes:

  1. Personal History Statement
    • Make sure you are using the most current PHS (2018)
    • No section should be left blank. In sections that do not apply write N/A, if there is information you do not know write unknown
    • Do your research, look up former employers addresses and get current contact Information for references
    • Document in chronological order, start with the most recent
    • Provide as much information as possible
  2. Pre-Investigative Questionnaire (PIQ)
    • The P.I.Q contains 262 questions focusing on:
      • References
      • Residences
      • Employment History 
      • Military History
      • Financial History  
      • Legal History
      • Group Affiliations
      • Domestic Conduct
      • Sexual Activity
      • Computer/ Telephonic Activity
      • Driving History  
  3. Waivers
    • Credit Check Waiver
    • Psychiatric Evaluation Waiver
    • Selective Service Waiver
    • Informed Consent Release and Hold Harmless for Confidentiality Of Pre-Employment Background Investigation
  4. Required Documents
    • Certified Birth Certificate
    • Social Security Card
    • Driver License
    • Automobile Insurance
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Bankruptcy Records  
    • Divorce Decree
    • Civil Suits and judgments
    • Military Records
      • Proof of Selective Service Registration
      • DD 214 (Long form)
      • Training Certificates
    • Education Records
      • High school and College transcripts
      • Diplomas

Prior to turning in your paperwork, review your paperwork to ensure everything is completely filled out. Make sure that your answers are as detailed as possible and that you have all requested documents. NEVER attempt to hide or omit requested information.

Step 6: Background Investigation

An in-depth inquiry and examination into your personal relationships, employment, criminal and legal history, and financial history will be conducted. This information is confidential and will not be shared with any person except authorized Sheriff’s personnel. The amount of time it takes to complete a background depends on the position you are applying for as well as how much personal history you have. If you contact your references a head of time it is generally easier for your investigator to get in contact with them. Once your investigator gets all of the information they need they will write a report and submit it to administration.

Step 7: Administrative Review

Sheriff’s Administrators will review your background information and make a determination regarding a conditional job offer. This review ensures that candidates meet all of our organizational values and provides oversight of the backgrounds process. 

Step 8: Conditional Job Offer

Once administrators review your background report and it is approved to progress forward, you will be given a conditional job offer. The condition is successful completion of a pre-employment Computer Voice Stress Analyzer test, medical examination, psychiatric evaluation, home visit and nothing else in your background of significance comes to light after the conditional offer.

Step 9: Home Visit

Home Visits are a P.O.S.T Requirement and will be scheduled by your Background Investigator. In some cases your investigator may look around your home and your neighbors may be contacted.

Step 10: CVSA/ Polygraph

A Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) measures the stress in your voice to detect deception. You are not connected to any wires during a CVSA. Make sure you are completely honest during every step of the background process to avoid issues with the CVSA.

During a polygraph the applicant is hooked up to the machine by several wires. Both the Polygraph and CVSA accomplish the same goal.

Step 11: Medical Examination

As a condition of hire, you must attend a medical appointment in which you will be evaluated to ensure you can meet the physical requirements of the job. As part of this examination, you may be required to complete a stress test and a back X-ray. 

Step 12: Psychiatric Evaluation

P.O.S.T Requires Psychiatric Evaluations on Peace Officers. When taking your psychiatric evaluation do not try to out smart the test, this could lead to failure. Answer honestly.

Step 13: Formal Job Offer

The Sheriff may extend a Formal Job Offer upon the report of satisfactory completion of the required evaluations. 

Step 14: Pre-Academy Consultation and Orientation*

Deputy Sheriff Recruits attending the College of the Redwoods Basic Police Academy will received pre-Academy consultation with a member of the Sheriff’s Office. Prior to beginning the Academy, recruits may receive departmental orientation or required to fulfill other duties until the Academy begins. 

Step 15: Police Academy*

As a Sheriff Recruit your tuition through the Police Academy will be covered by the Sheriff’s Office and you will receive regular pay as a full time employee during this time. Recruits who fail to successfully complete all Academy requirements will be unable to continue as a deputy sheriff but may be able to fill other needed positions within the department.

*Indicates requirements only for the Deputy Sheriff Recruit classification.