Deputy Hiring Process

Minimum Requirements

To become a deputy with the Denver Sheriff Department, you must first meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Age: 21 years of age by the start of the academy.
  • Education: graduation from high school or the possession of a GED, HiSET, or TASC Certificate. 
  • Experience: none.
  • Equivalency: none.
  • Fitness: meet the certified physical fitness standards adopted by the department.
  • Licensure/Certification: a valid driver license at the time of application.
    • Licenses and certifications must be kept current as a condition of employment.

Deputy Hiring Process

Step 1.Fill out an Application

It all starts here: fill out an application

Step 2.Pass a Background Check

Once your application is accepted, you are emailed a personal history packet – you must fill this packet out completely before returning. This information assists in a background investigation which determines your compatibility with the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD). Background investigators will review employment history, character references, academic records, residency history, criminal history, and credit history. If applicable, a broad overview of an applicant's criminal history is reported by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

Step 3.Take the SHL Counting Assessment

This assessment takes 20 minutes to complete.

Step 4.Complete the Integrity Interview

This interview is designed to verify the information you've provided, basic background, and qualifications.

Step 5.Take the SHL Reading and Writing Assessment

The goal of this assessment is to measure reading comprehension and writing skills.

Step 6.Receive a Conditional Offer

Upon review and approval by the Denver Sheriff Department and the Executive Director of Public Safety, the candidate receives a conditional job offer. A conditional letter of employment is a formal job offer dependent on the employee passing certain tests and/or conditions. The job offer is formalized once all the conditions are successfully met. If the applicant does not pass the requirements, the job offer will be rescinded.

Step 7.Pass the Polygraph

Candidates are required to complete a polygraph exam.

Step 8.Take the Job Suitability and Psychological Assessment

This assessment helps to determine if your personality traits are a good fit for a position in public safety, although they do not address psychological and/or medical concerns. The suitability interview does not address any information covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Psychological screenings assess your psychological and physical ability to perform the essential job functions required for a position in public safety.

Step 9.Agency Interview

The agency interview is conducted by an uniformed staff member to assess the candidate.

Step 10.Pass the Physical Fitness Exam

This exam measures your ability to perform job-related physical tasks, such as pat and frisk searches on a simulated inmate and timed emergency calls. These include running and stair climbing with a fire extinguisher, running and descending stairs, as well as moving an "inmate" (150-pound dummy). (See video below.)

Step 11.Take a Facility Tour (Optional)

A tour of the Downtown Detention Center (DDC) and/or the Denver County Jail (COJL) will help demonstrate the routine duties of a Denver Deputy Sheriff.

Step 12.Background Investigation

A more thorough background investigation will be conducted.

Step 13.Pass a Drug Screen and Medical Examination

Drug tests are routinely administered to check for the presence of illegal substances and a medical exam is conducted to ensure the candidate is fit for duty.

Step 14.Receive Final Appointment Letter

Upon successfully completing all the requirements listed above, an appointment letter will be issued with an academy start date.

Step 15.Enter the Academy

Once you begin at the DSD Training Academy, you will go through 15 weeks of training before graduating and becoming a Denver Deputy Sheriff.

Automatic Disqualifiers

Records of prior misconduct – illegal drug use, driving under the influence, theft, arrest, or conviction – are usually not, in and of themselves, automatic disqualifiers. 

There are few reasons that a Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) applicant will receive an automatic rejection. Deliberate misstatements or omissions can and often will result in a rejected application, regardless of the nature or reason for the misstatements/omissions. Failure to fill out applications completely and accurately could also result in rejection. But, the number one reason individuals “fail” background investigations? They withhold or misrepresent job-relevant information from their prospective employer.

Automatic disqualifiers to becoming a Denver Deputy Sheriff include:

  • Felony conviction and/or felony deferred judgement
  • Misdemeanor conviction/deferred judgment within the last five (5) years (other than a DUI or DWAI) 
  • Domestic violence conviction/deferred judgement
  • Gang affiliation or association of any kind
  • Sold illegal drugs
  • Used, consumed, and/or purchased marijuana within 12 months prior to submitting an application
  • Used illegal narcotics within the last 60 months
  • DUI or DWAI in the last three (3) years, and no more than two (2) in a lifetime
  • Unauthorized alcohol consumption during work hours in the last 12 months
  • Missed work due to alcohol consumption in the last 12 months
  • Negative employment history (i.e. more than one suspension from a job in the last five (5) years)
  • Theft from employers (merchandise or money) within the last five (5) years
  • Shoplifted with the last three (3) years
  • Negative driving record


Academy Testing Standards

The physical demands of law enforcement jobs are real. You may be called upon to move an accident victim to safety, subdue a violent criminal, climb flights of stairs to render first aide, or several other scenarios during your career. The overall stress of a career in public safety is a part of the job. After consulting with your doctor, consider a regular fitness and nutrition program as part of your daily lifestyle.

Recruits receive extensive firearms training at the range and must pass all shooting qualifications to graduate the academy. Once you become a sworn deputy, semi-annual qualifications are required for all firearms that are issued and/or carried. All deputies must maintain a shooting score of 80% or above during their employment.

Note: tests may be added or removed as appropriate during the academy.

Physical Fitness Standards:

All fitness tests and evaluations taken throughout the academy will be calculated toward your seniority and/or badge number and awarded upon graduation. To prepare for required fitness testing and attaining set goals, access to the academy facilities will be given and encouraged throughout the academy. The academy weight room and running course are available for use during daily lunch breaks, as well as before and after hours.

Required fitness and defense tactics tests include:

  • The Academy Fitness Test:
    This test is given three (3) times throughout the academy: a pre-test/baseline (first week of academy), a midterm/progress test, and a final exam (end of academy). Each test has varying point values depending upon the instructor's composition of the test and what performance is required by the recruit. Scores are derived from the Cooper Fitness Standards which compare fitness levels of law enforcement officers nationwide.
  • Fitness Test:
    Determines changes and improvements made during the academy.
  • Practical Defensive Tactics Test:
    Demonstrates your understanding and ability to apply and perform the various techniques taught in defensive tactics training.
  • Shooting qualifications:
    Receive at least an 80% passing score on all shooting qualifications. 

Academic Standards:

If chosen to attend the academy, you will be held to specific academic standards. A passing grade of no less than 80% is required for all written tests.

Academic evaluations include:

  • An academic knowledge test given bi-weekly, usually consisting of 50 questions, totaling five (5) to eight (8) tests upon completion of the academy.
  • Written tests in areas such as firearms safety, concealed weapons, driver safety, D.E.V.O.C., taser, defensive tactics (use of force and philosophy concerning inmate control), and CPR.
  • Firearms tests determine your cognitive ability to retain and explain information about weapons safety, use of force, deadly force, and the mechanics of how to shoot. 
  • Several final tests given at the conclusion of the academy.