A sheriff acts as an executive officer of the county. He/she enforces traffic laws in a county, enforces writs, supervises county jails and makes sure that peace is being maintained. A sheriff is responsible for enforcing criminal laws of the state as well.
Should I Become a Sheriff in Texas?
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Sheriffs work on county-based positions and they provide law enforcement services to the residents of a county. They make sure that people feel safe and protected in their homes. The profession comes with various dangers, however, it is also very rewarding.
Even though crime rates have been declining in recent years, the need to maintain safety has continued to exist. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for Police and Detectives are projected to grow by 5% from 2018-2028. Even though the demand varies from location to location, people who have higher education have better chances of getting elected.
Steps to Become a Sheriff in Texas
- Become a Police Officer
Aspiring sheriffs have to begin their career by becoming a police officer. They need a high school diploma and a police academy training to initiate the process. These candidates are also required to take physical exams and clear background checks.
- Obtain an Undergraduate Degree
Even though it is not necessary but some agencies may require police officers and sheriffs to get an undergraduate degree. These candidates can get an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any related field.
Students can also complete an internship at a sheriff’s department during their undergraduate program.
- Obtain Work Experience
Candidates have to gain work experience in law enforcement or any other related field. Most jurisdictions require them to obtain work experience from 1-5 years. Gaining work experience is one of the criteria to run for office.
- Campaign to be Elected
Each county has a different requirement and applicants have to check with the requirements of the county they are applying for. For example, in El Paso County, candidates are required to be US citizens with a high school diploma or a GED. They need to pass a few tests such as a physical exam, a written exam, a drug test, a background check and a medical check. Once they’re done with the screening process, they can complete the paper work and then raise funds and organize their election campaign.
- Get Elected
The candidate who successfully gets the most votes has to sign a contractual bond and take an oath of loyalty. The bond lasts for 4 years and it has the list of duties and responsibilities associate with the job.
- Gain Advanced Training
Newly appointed professionals choose to gain advanced training to become familiar with their expected role.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Sheriff in Texas?
Prospective sheriffs have to become police officers to begin their career. Some prefer to get a high school diploma, while others obtain an undergraduate degree. Once the candidates complete the education requirement, they have to gain work experience which can last from 1-5 years.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Sheriff in Texas?
Following are the requirements to become a sheriff in Texas:
- The candidate is required be a US citizen
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Possess a good moral character
- Have good mental and physical health
- Pass the background check and other tests
How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Sheriff in Texas?
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives working in Texas were getting an annual mean salary of $88,600 in 2019.