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Recruitment and Employment Testing Services for Public Safety

Job Information


Updated: June 16, 2023


Salary:  $7,576 – 10,667 / Month

Bilingual (English/Spanish) Candidates Encouraged to Apply

This is a continuous recruitment. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. This recruitment may close once sufficient qualifying applications have been received.

Deputy Sheriff Trainee is a non-sworn trainee level classification in the Sheriff’s Office with no peace officer powers. Incumbents in this class attend an approved Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) police academy to be trained to perform law enforcement service. Upon successful completion of the basic academy, incumbents are expected to be promoted to Deputy Sheriff. Deputy Sheriffs perform law enforcement, crime prevention, and crime detection activities; serve civil papers; coroner functions; act as bailiffs; and perform other duties as required. Incumbents rotate through various assignments and work rotating shift schedules, including nights, weekends, and holidays.

Job Requirements:

  • Graduation from a high school by an association recognized by the US
  • Department of Education, a satisfactory score on a GED test or a California
  • High School Proficiency Examination certificate.
  • A two or four-year college degree accredited by an association recognized by the US Department of Education may be substituted for the high school requirements.
  • The ability to pass a full background investigation, medical examination (including lifting assessment), and psychological examination.
  • Possession of a valid Class C California Driver’s License at the time of appointment.
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States in accordance with
  • Section 1031 of the Government Code
  • Must be at least 21 years of age at completion of the academy
  • Must be available to work nights, weekends, and/or holidays
  • Special Working Conditions: Exposure to variable temperatures and weather conditions; confined workspaces; heights; two-way radio noise; strong, unpleasant odors; infections which might cause chronic disease or death; dust and pollens; chemical irritants; the possibility of experiencing bodily injury and/or burns; contact with a diverse population.

Benefit Information

VACATION – Employees on a 5/8 schedule accrue 112 hours per year, rising to 232 hours per year after 15 years of service. Employees on a 4/10 schedule accrue 86 hours per year, rising to 214 hours per year. An employee on the 7/12 schedule shall be credited with 80 hours of vacation upon completion of 2080 hours. Vacation is available after 2080 hours of service.

HOLIDAYS – Employees on the 5/8 schedule receive 13 paid Holidays per year. Employees on a 4/10 schedule shall receive one 10-hour day off per month in lieu of prescribed holidays. Employees on the 7/12 schedule shall accrue .0659 hours per hour worked in lieu of holiday.

BEREAVEMENT LEAVE – 3 days paid in California, 5 days paid out of state.

SICK LEAVE – 96 hours per year.

MEDICAL PLAN – The County contracts with CalPERS for a variety of medical plans. For most plans, County contributions pay a majority of the premiums for employees and eligible dependents.

VISION PLAN – The County pays for employee coverage. Employees may purchase eligible dependent coverage.

DENTAL PLAN – County-paid employee and dependent coverage.

RETIREMENT – 1959 Survivor’s Benefit plus pension formula 3% at age 55 or 2.7% at age 57 as determined based on provisions of the CA Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA).  Pension benefits are determined by the final average compensation of three years.  The county pays a portion of the retirement contribution.

LIFE INSURANCE – The county paid a $50,000 policy. Employees may purchase additional life insurance.

LONG-TERM DISABILITY PLAN – Employee paid voluntary plan. Plan pays 66 2/3% of the first $15,000 of pre-disability earnings up to $10,000 per month maximum.

DEPENDENT-CARE PLAN – Employees who pay for qualifying child or dependent care expenses may elect this pre-tax program.

H-CARE PLAN – Employees who pay a County medical premium share of the cost may elect this pre-tax program.

HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ALLOWANCE (HCFSA) – Employees may elect this pre-tax program to cover qualifying health care expenses.

DEFERRED COMPENSATION – A deferred compensation plan is available to employees.

OTHER – The County pays premium for certain requirements and assignments, including

  • Night Shift Pay: 5% of base pay; POST Intermediate Certificate: 3.5% of base pay; POST Advanced Certificate: 5.5% of base pay; Detective Pay: equal to 5% of base hourly rate of Deputy Sheriff; Field Training Officer Pay, 5% of base pay; Bilingual Pay: $1.00/hour for LEVEL I, $2.00/hour for LEVEL II.
  • ASSIGNMENTS – Opportunities for rotation to every bureau of the department.


Candidates must submit an application through the County of Santa Cruz website found here:

Candidates who meet minimum qualifications and possess a valid T-Score of 46 or higher -OR- Completed the National Testing Network (NTN) Frontline Law Enforcement Written Examination (Passing scores accepted for this exam are Video-65% or higher; Reading-70% or higher; and Writing-70% or higher) will be invited to participate in a physical ability test.

Physical Ability Test
Part 1: Run 220 yards in 1 minute or less
Part 2: Drag 165-pound dummy 60 feet in 1 minute or less.
Candidates will be allowed two one-minute attempts to pass each part of the physical ability test.
MUST PASS ALL components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list.

Background Investigation: An extensive background investigation, including a polygraph examination, drug screen, and Personal History Statement, which includes work, legal, driving, financial, and drug possession histories, will be conducted.

Failure of the background investigation will include but is not limited to one of the following:

Unlawful use or possession of any unlawful drug within three years of application for employment.

Unlawful sales, distribution, manufacture, or transportation of an unlawful drug.
Use of any unlawful drug during work hours while employed in a job related to public safety or security.

Termination from employment or discharge from the military because of a drug test.

Conviction or commission of a felony.

Conviction or commission of a misdemeanor within the last three years involving conduct that would adversely impact the candidate’s ability to perform as a law enforcement officer.

The conviction or specified misdemeanor within the last ten years per California Penal Code 29805(c).

Classification as a negligent operator under the Department of Motor Vehicles:
Four or more points in twelve (12) months.
Six points in twenty-four (24) months.
Eight points in thirty-six (36) months.
A peace officer applicant who is the subject of a protective order or a temporary restraining order related to domestic violence or stalking (California Penal Code section 12021(g)(1) and US Code, Title 18, part 1, Chapter 44, Section 922).
Conviction of a misdemeanor containing the elements of domestic violence (US Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44, Section 922(d)(9)).
Discharge from the armed services of the United States of America under dishonorable conditions (US Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44, Section 911(d)(6)).
Termination from a sworn position at a law enforcement agency.
Termination from any employment in the past three years for reasons that would adversely impact the candidate’s ability to perform as a law enforcement officer.
Any incorrect representation, verbal misrepresentation or deletion of a material fact on an application, interview or background investigation.

Any exceptions to the above may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Women, people of color and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. If you have a disability that requires test accommodation, please call 831-454-2600.

To comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, Santa Cruz County verifies that all new employees are either U.S. citizens or persons authorized to work in the U.S.

Some positions may be designated for bilingual pay (Spanish-speaking). Candidates may qualify for bilingual pay by successfully completing a pass/fail language proficiency examination.

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