By Mary O’KEEFE
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. has job openings for those who can pass the tests: physical, academic and psychological.
“Recruitment is going great. We have had lots of [applicants] and we [average] 400 to 700 applications a week,” said LASD Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers. “We routinely get 400 online applications but [recently] they are averaging above that.”
The LASD has been specifically reaching out to neighborhoods they serve, like La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge. There may be a lot of people interested in a job at the department but the standards are high and it is not easy to advance from application to academy.
“We have about four out of 100 of those [applicants who] will be hired,” Rogers said.
After factoring in about 20% attrition for those who drop out of the training for a variety of reasons, the number of hires averages about three out of 100 who are finally sworn into the LASD.
The applicant’s past is looked into as the first step of the application process. About 25% are disqualified for “past transgressions” that may include arrests. Another 35% are lost during the agility test and another large percentage is stopped by the background check, psychological testing and financial background check.
Rogers added the latter is important because they do not want deputies on the street who are more susceptible to bribes due to financial concerns.
Those wanting to apply do not have to have a college degree; however, a degree does mean more money for the applicant.
“[A degree] does help [applicants] later on with promotional opportunities,” he said.
Although the requirements are high, Rogers does not want to discourage people from applying.
“We are looking for people who have a passion for this lifestyle. This is not something you can say, ‘I will just give this a shot,’” Rogers said.
At present the applications are running about 75% men and 25% women. Rogers would like to see more women apply.
“Our department now is 18% female deputies,” Rogers said.
Military veterans make up about 15% of the applicants. The department also has recruiters who work with veterans.
The annual salary begins at $60,000 and there are plenty of opportunities for advancement.
And more deputy jobs have been made available in next year’s budget by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. On Sept. 29, the board of supervisors unanimously approved funding for an addition 67 patrol deputies for the unincorporated areas in next years budget. The motion was made by County Mayor Michael Antonovich and Supervisor Hilda Solis.
“Today’s action continues the enhancements in public safety to the residents in our unincorporated communities,” Mayor Antonovich stated.
The Sheriff’s Department’s assessment of patrol services conducted in April of last year recommended adding 123 patrol deputies to enhance service levels in the county’s unincorporated areas in two phases. Phase I consisted of adding 56 deputies and Phase II consists of adding 67 deputies. Mayor Antonovich’s motion to implement Phase I was unanimously approved in December.
For those interested in applying for an LASD job or for more information visit www.lasdcareers.org.