All the cool toys were there.
Duke 1, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department support unit from the air.
The armored BearCat SWAT response and rescue vehicle.
A Harbor Patrol boat.
In addition to getting a feel for the agency’s law enforcement capabilities from air, land and sea, attendees of the OCSD Career Fair on Saturday, Oct. 1, held at the OCSD’s Regional Training Academy in Tustin, could meet some four-legged members of the OCSD Mounted Enforcement Unit and try their skills in shooting scenarios in a Force Option Simulator trailer.
They also could watch a K9 demonstration and check out booths ranging from the OCSD bomb squad, which had a tabletop full of explosive devices, to one staffed by members of the agency’s all-female team of competitive shooters.
The annual career fair is crucial to the OCSD’s staffing needs.
As of Sept. 3, the OCSD had 1,848 sworn personnel and 140 vacancies.
Non-sworn personnel as of that date totaled 1,755, with 232 vacancies.
With the expansion of the James A. Musick facility and forecasted retirements, the OCSD is trying to hire more than 140 sworn personnel, with a goal of placing at least 40 recruits in each academy class for the next two years, officials said.
The job fair was all about informing visitors about the numerous career options available to OCSD deputies and giving potential applicants a feel for what the initial testing and minimum physical requirements are.
At a morning info session, two deputies explained their jobs and answered questions following a pulse-pumping video that highlighted the OCSD’s various departments and auxiliary assignments.
Why consider a career with the OCSD?
“People do it for different reasons, and there are a lot of different choices out there,” Deputy Jason Sneddon said. “There are a lot of police departments and public safety jobs that would make for excellent careers, but I chose the Orange County Sheriff’s Department because of the opportunities we have here.”
Sneddon has only been at the OCSD for four years but already he’s had opportunities to work in the jail, get involved with teaching and training, become a SWAT sniper and work patrol in North Operations.
“You have things to do beyond being in just a black and white your entire career,” Sneddon said.
Deputy Dave Moodie said he learned a lot starting his career working the jails, as all deputies do.
“You might have heard that working in the jail (custody and court operations) is a negative thing…but for me, it was the best thing possible,” Moodie said.
Moodie said he learned about criminals, gang culture and how to deal with people from all walks of life, and recommended attendees to apply to become an OCSD deputy.
“The possibilities here are endless,” Moodie said. “We have a lot to offer, and I think that’s what makes our agency different from any other law enforcement agency in the county.”
Oct. 15 is the next testing date to become an OCSD deputy.
You must be at least 20 years old and have no domestic violence or felony on your record and you must have a high school degree or GED.
After passing a written test, applicants will be briefly interviewed by an investigator to see if they are viable candidates.
If they are, applicants then will perform a physical agility test that includes doing 30 pushups and 30 sit-ups in under 5 minutes, dragging a 165-pound dummy about 45 feet to simulate rescuing a partner, running a mile in under 10 minutes, and completing an obstacle course that includes hopping over a fence, going through a window and balancing on bars.
The average time it takes to get hired is about five months, but it can happen within 2 ½ to 3 months, OCSD officials said. Other law enforcement agencies typically take longer.
Once hired, the average wait time to become an OCSD patrol deputy is 2 ½ to 3 ½ years — quicker if you have military experience and a college degree.
“I hope you’re successful,” Snedden told a room full of potential applicants — some in casual clothes, but many wearing suits and ties.
“This is an incredible career.”
For more information visit joinocsd.org or call 1-877-SHERIFF