Jacksonville is not only the most populous city in Florida but it is also the largest of the contiguous U.S. states in area. The majority of Jacksonville’s 885 square miles has a crime rate consistent with the national average, however, the rate increases to much higher levels along the city’s borderlines.
Despite an increase in population, the rate for most crime categories (assault, robberies, auto theft, etc.) has decreased between 2000 and 2012 except for murder, which has increased markedly during these years
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is responsible for enforcing the law throughout Duval County’s 918 square miles. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division has the responsibility of conducting follow-up examinations for all serious crimes. It is staffed by officers who have been promoted to detective and have the knowledge to solve complex cases.
Becoming a Detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
After completing two years in the patrol department, officers have the option to choose to become a detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office by transferring to the Detectives Unit of the Investigations Division.
The annual starting salary is $36,235, which increases to $38,149 upon completion of training. Thereafter there are annual raises up to $54,696 in six years and $62,476 in 17 years. Police chiefs in Jacksonville earn between $81,989 and $103,649/year.
Education and Experience Requirements – One of the following education and experience options is required to qualify for a Jacksonville sheriff officer’s job:
- High school diploma and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university OR
- Associate’s degree or 60 semester (90 quarter) hours plus four years prior active military or law enforcement experience OR
- 90 semester (135 quarter) hours college studies and two years prior active military or law enforcement experience
Satisfying the Basic Requirements – All of the following basic requirements must also be met in order to qualify for an officer’s job with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office
- At least 21 years old
- United States citizen
- Valid Florida driver’s license
- Good moral character
- Good physical condition
- No dishonorable discharge from the military
- No felony conviction
- No misdemeanor convictions involving perjury, false statements or domestic violence
- Must pass CJBAT (criminal justice basic achievements test) OR
- Be certified by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission
NOTE: CJBAT testing is regularly offered at the Florida Community College in Jacksonville. It tests written expression, reading comprehension, memorization, inductive/deductive reasoning, spatial orientation, problem solving and ability to follow orders. Call 1-904-633-8388 for testing information. Questions about certification can be answered at 1-850-410-4600.
Hiring Process – Each of the following steps of the hiring process must be successfully completed before moving on to the next:
- Physical abilities test
- Writing skills test
- Thorough background investigation
- Oral board interview
- Medical exam including drug screening and stress test
- Psychological examination
Training – Candidates who complete the hiring process are given a conditional job offer contingent upon the completion of training at the Police Recruit Training Center in Jacksonville. Recruits receive salary and benefits while in training. In addition to classroom studies covering all aspects of the law, police procedure and the criminal justice system, field training is provided in such activities as:
- Pursuit driving
- Taser use
- Self-defense tactics
- Simulated munitions
- Emergency medicine
How to Apply – Applications are accepted online or in person. Online applications are available at the Sheriff’s office employment website. Forms may also be hand delivered to the Criminal Justice Training Center, 4714 Capper Road, Building P, Jacksonville between 8:a.m. and noon, or between 2:00-4:00 p.m.