The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is making changes to its hiring requirements in an effort to attract more qualified deputies.
The office has announced that all new hires will now be required to have post certification, indicating that they have completed a course of law enforcement classwork and skills testing.
The hope is that this new requirement will bring in candidates who are more job-ready on day one.
The current class of cadets will be the last to graduate without post certification, as the policy change will take effect immediately.
The Sheriff’s Office had previously implemented a program allowing non-certified deputies to work in the jail due to staffing struggles.
However, that program is now ending, and all deputies will be required to have post certification to serve in a Class 1 peace officer status out on the street.
The change comes as the Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase of over 100 applicants in the first posting of the academy, with another post academy scheduled to open soon.
The increase in applicants has created a larger, deeper applicant pool, which is seen as a positive development.
The Sheriff’s Office had relaxed the requirements for post certification five years ago when it was experiencing a hiring crisis, but that created issues in terms of filling patrol vacancies with non-certified deputies.
Sheriff Bill Elder has said that all deputies will have the opportunity to upgrade their skills and go through post training.
The hope is that this new requirement will attract more qualified candidates and improve the overall quality of law enforcement in El Paso County.