The Sheriff's Office often receives inquiries from teens who want to know what they need to do - now and throughout their career in school - to put themselves in a good position to enter the law enforcement profession. It's heartening to know that there are young people out there who admire and aspire to be deputies, so we've prepared the below tips. In truth, we acknowledge that the future of law enforcement will largely depend on how well we do in cultivating and recruiting the next generation of deputies.
1. Work Hard at Academics
You don't necessarily have to be a straight-A student but you must get good grades in order to get into a good school, because agencies are increasingly looking for applicants with at least two-year (and preferably four-year) degrees. The JCSO prefers to hire with a minimum of two-years of college.
2. Keep Out of Trouble in School
Getting sent to the principal's office is not a good start to a law enforcement career. Be respectful of teachers and fellow students and set an example for your peers by modeling good behavior. Not only will this put you in very good stead with the teachers and administrators, but the self-esteem value of being "the good kid" is immeasurable.
3. Stay Out of Trouble After School
At the risk of overstating the obvious, being the subject of a police investigation is also not a good way to start a law enforcement career. Don't commit dopey acts - even completely legal ones - that would raise negative attention from law enforcement.
4. Volunteer in Your Community
Deputies are community servants, and people making hiring decisions at most agencies are looking for an individual's history of community service. If there's a municipal recreation center, senior citizens' center, or animal shelter, make time to do it. Not only does this kind of volunteer work look good on a resume, it has practical implications as well. The more often you have interpersonal contact with people in your community, the more you will learn about how to deal effectively with people.
5. Participate in Sports or Extracurricular Activities
First and foremost, sporting endeavors will help keep you in good physical condition, something that should become a lifelong habit for future deputies. Team activities are important for understanding how to work together with others, including others with whom you may not see eye-to-eye. Finally, individual sports prepare you to work things out on your own, something deputies do on a daily basis.
6. Participate in Scouting
Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA are wonderful training grounds for the would-be cop. Both impart on their members a great sense of duty to others, and both have merit-based systems which prepare kids for the way in which law enforcement operates.
7. Enroll in a Youth Academy
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office offers a week long Youth Academy each June for 14-20 year olds. This is a great way to get a sneak peek inside your local law enforcement agency. To learn more visit: http://jeffco.us/sheriff/community/youth-academy/.
8. Intern with the Cadet Program
The Cadet Program at JCSO is designed to provide on-the-job paid training and serves as a student intern opportunity for high school graduates pursuing a career in law enforcement while attending college. To learn more visit: http://jeffco.us/sheriff/careers/cadet-program/.
9. Talk to Law Enforcement
If you have a School Resource Officer in your school, this should be one of the first people you approach to ask about what it's like to be in law enforcement. Beyond that, feel free to contact one of our recruiters. And don't forget - we are on social media from snapchat to Facebook and more! You might also follow the Recruit Academy Blog where our recruits chronicle their adventures in the law enforcement training academy.
10. Believe in yourself and don't give up!
The selection process to become a deputy is among the most rigorous there is for any career. You may have to apply to several academies in order to be selected. Above all else, remember that if at first you don't succeed, try again - harder, and with renewed commitment to achieve your goal of becoming one of America's finest.
This award represents the Sheriff's Office's confidence in and respect for education and training. The County Sheriff's of Colorado Scholarship Award applications are due February 24 for the 2017/2018 academic year. Applications are available at http://jeffco.us/sheriff/community/csoc-scholarship-award/.