Process and Requirements


To become a Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff III, or Court Security Officer with Richland County, you must meet the following qualifications:

  1. For Deputy Sheriff positions, candidate must have a four year degree from an accredited college or university, or Associate Degree and two years of previous law enforcement or military experience, or be a currently certified law enforcement officer.
  2. For Deputy Sheriff III and Court Security Officer candidates – must have High School Diploma from an accredited school or GED.
  3. Minimum of 21 years of age.
  4. No criminal history.
  5. Valid driver’s license with limited violations.
  6. Drug-free background.
  7. Satisfactory background, including financial stability.
  8. Pass a polygraph examination, drug testing, physical fitness test and staff interviews.
  9. Meet physical fitness standards. Including a pre-employment PT Test.
  10. Successfully complete training at the Criminal Justice Academy.

Minimum State Standards as described in SC CODE OF LAWS SECTION 23-23-60(B)

  • An application under oath on a format prescribed by the Director of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
  • Evidence that the candidate has completed high school and received a high school diploma; equivalency (military or other) recognized and accepted by the South Carolina Department of Education or South Carolina.
  • Evidence that the candidate is physically fit to fulfill the duties of a law enforcement officer. Such proof must be in obtaining a complete medical history by a licensed physician or medical examiner and a complete medical examination.
  • The candidate has not been convicted of any criminal offense that carries a sentence of one year or more or a criminal offense that involves a crime of moral turpitude. The forfeiture of bond, a guilty plea, or a plea of nolo contendere is considered the equivalent of a conviction.
  • Candidate must be a person of good character as established by an in-depth background investigation. In determining good character, consideration must be given to all law violations, including traffic and conservation law convictions, prior history of alcohol and drug abuse, etc.
  • Candidate must have a valid and current state driver’s license with no record during the previous five years for suspension of the driver’s license as a result of driving under the influence, reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, or leaving the scene of an accident.
  • A credit check with favorable results
  • Fingerprints and a check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division the candidate has no felony convictions.
  • The candidate must be photographed.
  • Evidence that the candidate’s present age is not less than twenty-one years. This evidence must include a birth certificate or another acceptable document
  • If the candidate has successfully completed a course of law enforcement training by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy or another law enforcement training Academy, copies of the documents must be obtained.
  • No convictions for criminal domestic violence.

Application/Employment process:

  1. Applicant submits application
  2. Preliminary background investigation conducted
  3. Pre-employment agility test
  4. Pre-employment firearms evaluation
  5. Pre-employment spelling test
  6. Pre-employment essay/writing sample
  7. Pre-polygraph booklet completed
  8. Pre-employment polygraph consent and advisory signed
  9. Pre-employment polygraph
  10. Some applicants are chosen to appear before an interview board based on the application packet and evaluations.
  11. Interview Board
  12. Interview Board results are compiled and recommendations are made to the Sheriff.
  13. Selected applicants are interviewed by the Sheriff.

Note: Steps 3-8 to be conducted all on the same day at the Firing Range.

The application and hiring process takes 60-90 days.