The Special Deputy Division of the Richland county Sheriff’s Office is a unique and inverse unity, which acts as a support division to the entire Sheriff’s Office. This division has at least 20 sworn officers who volunteer their time to the Sheriff’s Office and subsequently to the community.
Although this is a volunteer division, the Special Deputies are fully trained and state certified peace officers, with full enforcement powers. They are subject to ongoing training and recertifications in the same subject areas as the full time officers. These officers can be seen on uniformed patrol, assisting with investigations, working at special events, and in just about any activity the Sheriff’s Office is involved in.
There is a vast personal and financial commitment in becoming a Special Deputy; applicants are subjected to interviews, a background investigation, and truth verification testing. Accepted applicants must provide for their own tuition for Ohio Basic Peace Officer Academy, as well as for all uniforms and equipment. Once a recruit has graduated the academy the training has only just begun, from this point the recruit is assigned a Field Training Officer, and with guidance, must complete a formal field-training (on the job) curriculum, which rivals most other full time officer department programs
The officers of this Division must commit to a minimum of 10 hours per month, eight of which must be on uniformed patrol. In-service training is held once per month as is firearms training. A strict regiment of proficiency training and testing combined with a retention point scoring system is in place to ensure that the Special Deputies are capable, viable asset in fulfilling their role as a support unit to the Sheriff’s Office. Many of our members go on to be full time officers within the sheriff’s department and other local agencies.
The structure of this Division consists of a Division Commander (Captain), Assistant Commander (Lieutenant), Training and Firearms Supervisor, Operations and Personnel Supervisor, and First Line Supervisors (Sergeants). The Division Commander is responsible for the administration of the Division, attends Departmental Supervisors’ Meetings, and reports directly to the Sheriff.
In 2001, the Special Deputy Division provided over 3,600 hours of service to the citizens of Richland County, in support of the mission of the Sheriff’s Office.
If someone is interested in becoming a member of the Special Deputy unit, applications may be picked up at the Sheriff’s Office during regular business hours.