Frequently Asked Questions for Patrol and Corrections Deputy Applicants

Following are answers to some common questions about the hiring process for Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Patrol and Corrections Deputy Applicants. If you have any additional questions, you can send an e-mail to  or call the individuals listed at the bottom of this page.

Q. What type of commitment is required of me to have a successful career in law enforcement?

A. Law enforcement can be a very rewarding and challenging career selection -- offering excitement and opportunities for personal growth. A career in law enforcement is also a significant commitment -- including challenging emotional situations and time constraints in your personal life.

Clackamas County provides 24/7 law-enforcement services to county citizens. If you're up for the challenge, this is an excellent career choice -- a choice that can be made even better with the support of friends and family.

Q. How do I know which opening to apply for within the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office?

A. Patrol openings are for Deputy positions not in the Clackamas County Jail. Corrections openings are for Deputy positions within the jail only.

Q. What are the basic eligibility requirements and automatic background disqualifiers?

A. You can find a general summary on this webpage.

Q. When will I hear from your office regarding my application status after I submit my online application?

A. You will receive notice from us by U.S. Mail/email within two weeks after the closing date of the job posting.

Q. Will you ever contact me by email?

A. Yes. In the interest of sustainability, Clackamas County sends most recruitment correspondence via email. It's a good idea to check your email regularly so you don’t miss anything.

Q. I'm already a certified Corrections Officer, Deputy, or Police Officer from another State -- and I'm interested in applying for a lateral position with Clackamas County. Will my certification transfer so I don’t need to attend the academy again?

A. The State’s Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST) will review your previous training and determine if additional or abbreviated training must be completed to be certified in the State of Oregon. You should still apply if interested as this takes place later in the application process.

Q. What are the steps in the screening process after I have submitted my application for Deputy Sheriff, Recruit?

A. The steps are as follows. You must successfully pass each step in order to progress to the next step in the screening process.

STEP 1. Minimum Qualifications -- We ensure that you meet minimum qualifications for the position by reviewing your online application. Candidates passing the minimum qualifications will be emailed a request to fill out the Statement of Personal History (SPH).

STEP 2. Statement of Personal History -- Candidates who pass minimum qualifications will be required to fill out an SPH. SPHs will be screened for automatic disqualifiers.

STEP 3. Written/ Video Testing & ORPAT -- Candidates who successfully pass Steps 1 and 2 will be participating in written/video testing. The test vendor is Ergometrics. Patrol candidates will be invited to ORPAT testing in conjunction with written testing. (Corrections candidates will also be required to participate in a tour of the Jail.)

STEP 4. Oral Board Interview--  Candidates who successfully pass Steps 1-3 will be invited to a panel interview. This interview is considered an oral test and all candidates will be asked the same questions. The top candidates from the Oral Board Interview will be invited to the Department Interview.

STEP 5. Department Interview -- Candidates who successfully pass Steps 1-4 may be invited to an "in-house" interview with the Sheriff’s Office. 

Note: Your background investigation may be conducted at any point after your Statement of Personal History is collected.

Q. I'm applying for a medical contract position at the Clackamas County Jail. Do I need to fill out any different forms?

A. Yes. Applicants for contract medical positions need to fill out a Jail Medical Contract Statement of Personal History, downloadable here (PDF format).

Q. How can I use my Veteran’s points I've earned under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 408.230-408.235?

A. You may use Veteran’s points if you send in your DD 214 Member 4 or DD 215 and proof of disability, if applicable, prior to the close date of the job opening.

Please see the "ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE" section of the job opening for further instructions on the use of Veteran's points.

Q. If I'm selected for the position for which I applied, how long will it take until I'm possibly hired?

A. It can take several months before you may be extended a conditional offer by the Sheriff’s Office.

The testing phases are scheduled over a several-month period -- and you may be on the eligibility register for some time.

Once you are given a conditional offer, there are several more tests you must take and pass prior to beginning your new job.

These tests include the following:

  • For Patrol and Corrections applicants: Post-offer psychological examination, medical, and drug testing.

Q. What types of tests will I be asked to take as an applicant for Patrol/Corrections Deputy?

A. You may be asked to take several tests that can include: written/video based testing; supplemental questionnaire, ORPAT (Patrol), oral board (panel) interview; and Department “in- house” interview, psychological examination, medical, and drug test.

Q. When will I have to take the Oregon Physical Abilities Test (ORPAT)?

A. The ORPAT is conducted as part of the testing process for Patrol candidates. The ORPAT is typically conducted during Step 3 of the testing process.

Q. What's involved in the Oregon Physical Abilities Test (ORPAT) for Patrol candidates?

A. For a breakdown of this test, download this PDF, provided by DPSST. You can also learn more about ORPAT by visiting this link.

Q. Can I get more information on the Ergometrics Testing?

A. The test conducted for Patrol is Frontline and the test conducted for Corrections is REACT. You can visit the testing vendor website here.

Q. If I take the written/video based test for a Patrol or Corrections position, can I use the same score to apply for the other?

A. No. You must apply for each job opening separately in order to be considered. The test that we administer is different and specific to each classification.

Q. I am not going to be able to make it to the test dates posted in the job announcement. Is there a way to re-schedule?

A. Due to the high volume of applicants, we are rarely able to make scheduling accommodations for testing or oral board interviews. Individual requests will be considered by the Department of Human Services for reasons such as military obligations, court subpoenas, etc. Proof required. If you are not able to attend please call us so we can permit you to re-apply and test with the next testing cycle.

Q. What type of background investigation is required to be employed as a Patrol/Corrections Deputy with the Sheriff's Office?

A. A comprehensive background investigation will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Office -- and you must successfully pass it to move forward in the application process.

Your background investigation will consist of an evaluation of all information related to the 14 Clackamas County Sheriff's Office job dimensions. These dimensions are: dependability, problem-solving ability, observation skills, integrity, learning ability, judgment under pressure, communication skills, appearance, interpersonal sensitivity, willingness to confront problems, desire for self-improvement, interest in people, operation of a motor vehicle, and credibility as a witness in court.

Q. Who will the Sheriff's Office talk to while conducting my background investigation?

A. The Sheriff’s Office may contact anyone you have known, been associated with, or are suspected to have known during the background investigation.

Q. Am I able to find out the status of my background investigation while it is in progress?

A. No. The Sheriff’s Office is unable to provide status updates for applicants that are going through the background investigation process.

Q. How long does the background investigation take?

A. Your background investigation should take from 6 to 16 weeks. During this time the Sheriff’s Office will notify you if the background investigator needs any additional information and you should respond quickly.

Q. Can I find out why I was not successful in passing my background investigation?

A. No. The Sheriff’s Office is unable to provide specific information regarding the reason you have failed your background investigation. You will be asked to sign a waiver to ensure that individuals that provide information to the background investigators are guaranteed the right to confidentiality for the information they provide.

Q. Can I apply for both Corrections and Patrol positions at the same time?

A. Yes. You may have active applications with both divisions and be on our "eligibility list" at the same time.

Q. How long will I be on the eligibility register once I am placed on it?

A. You will remain on the eligibility register for a minimum of six months and typically not more than one year. Please see the job announcement for the position for which you are applying for exact timelines.

Q. What if my address or phone number changes during the application process or while I am on the eligibility register?

A. Updating your contact information is your responsibility. Please log back into the County's jobs website and update your contact information. If you are in the Department Interview phase or working with a background investigator, please also notify Jenny Helms (503-785-5162) from the Sheriff’s Office, as well.

Q. As a Patrol or Corrections recruit, what type of training will I receive once I'm hired?

A. You will receive extensive training prior to working independently.

A portion of this training will require that you attend the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) academy and pass it successfully.

Once you return to the Sheriff’s Office, you will work with Field Training Officers (FTOs) during the Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP) until you have successfully completed all phases of training. During this time, you will be serving on an 18-month new-employee probationary period.

Q. If I am selected for hire as a recruit, how long will it be before I attend the DPSST academy?

A. Once you have passed all required testing and have been hired on by the Sheriff’s Office, you will be registered for an opening at the DPSST academy as soon as possible. You may begin with some pre-academy training with Sheriff’s Office personnel and then go to the academy -- completing your Sheriff's Office training when you return.

Q. What can I expect if the Sheriff’s Office sends me to the DPSST academy?

A. Visit this link to read a detailed description of student life and regulations at the DPSST academy.

Q. As a Sheriff's Office employee, will I be represented by a union?

A. Yes. Our Corrections Deputies and Patrol Deputies are members of the Clackamas County Peace Officers Association union (POA).

To learn more about the union, visit

To review a PDF of the POA contract, click here.

Q. What type of benefits will I be eligible for at the Sheriff's Office?

A. To review a benefits summary, please click here to read a PDF.

In addition, see the union contract for other benefits and incentive pays.

Q. Do I get to select which shift I’m assigned to work and which days I’ll have off?

A. Shifts may be rotated every six months. Time shifts are requested by a shift bidding schedule based on seniority for Recruits, Corrections Deputies, and Patrol Deputies.

Q. How can I be assigned to work in a special division such as Marine, K9, SWAT, Search & Rescue, the jail's CERT team, etc.?

A. You must successfully complete your probationary period and typically have a couple of years of service prior to being eligible for consideration for a special unit. If there is an opening in one of these special divisions, the Sheriff’s Office will select the most competitive candidate.

Q. I have a tattoo. Does the Sheriff's Office have an employee tattoo policy?

A. Yes. The Sheriff's Office tattoo/body-modification policy is as follows:


  1. Visible tattoos or any form of branding, mark or other permanent or long-lasting body art or modification deliberately placed on the body for purposes of decoration, ornament, or adornment. shall not be of a style, size, color or location that diminishes professional appearance or reflects poorly on the CCSO;
  2. Visible tattoos are not permitted on the neck, face, head or hands of CCSO employees.  Hands are considered the area below the wrist bone.  The neck, face and head area is considered to be the area above the clavicle;
  3. Tattoos depicting racist, indecent, extremist, lawless or offensive themes must be covered while on duty or while conducting Sheriff’s Office business.  A tattoo is considered “offensive” if it depicts, describes or otherwise refers to sexual context, acts, organs or preferences; if it depicts, describes or refers to intolerance of or discrimination against any race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, ethnicity or it is commonly associated with any organization or group which advocates such intolerance or discrimination; or it brings discredit upon the CCSO, violates common standards of decency or morality;
  4. Visible dental art or gem stones, unnaturally colored or shaped teeth, and other ornamentation that is temporary or permanently affixed to the teeth for the purposes of decoration or adornment is not permitted while on duty; and
  5. Employees may wear contact lenses of a natural eye color.  Red, orange, silver and other unnaturally colored contact lenses or colors that create an unnatural eye color or graphic design are not permitted.


Q. How can I be promoted to a supervisory position such as Sergeant or Lieutenant?

A. If there is an opening for one of these positions, a recruitment will be conducted by the Department of Human Services, and the most competitive candidate will be selected.

Q. For which "contract cities" does the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office currently provide law-enforcement services?

A. We currently provide law enforcement services to the following cities within Clackamas County: Happy Valley, Wilsonville, and Damascus. Deputies who are assigned to work these areas may drive a city- specific car and wear a city-specific uniform while on duty.

Q. Who can I contact if my questions aren’t answered here?

A. You can ask questions by sending an e-mail to, or by calling the following individuals:

  • Lindsay White, HR Analyst, (503) 742-5466, for questions regarding Corrections recruitments.
  • Jenny Helms, Sheriff’s Office, (503) 785-5162, for questions regarding the SPH, background investigations, and training.