Jacksonville is the county seat of the Duval County in Florida. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) is a joint law enforcement agency serving both the city of Jacksonville and the wider Duval County since 1958. If you are aiming for a career in law enforcement in the Sunshine State, then joining the JSO can be a good option. This piece has all the relevant information.

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Requirements to Become a Sheriff in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) has the “Police Officer” and “Corrections Officer” programs for individuals who wish to join it. You can opt for either and rise through the ranks to contest elections for Jacksonville sheriff.

JSO Corrections Officer

The following are the requirements for becoming a Corrections Officer with the JSO. You must clear them to move ahead to the process of becoming Jacksonville and Duval County sheriff. Applicant:

  • Must be at least 18.
  • Should be a legal citizen of the United States of America.
  • Must have a valid Florida driving license/permit.
  • Must have passed high school. The equivalent GED certificate is also acceptable in the absence of a high school diploma.
  • Should qualify the Corrections Physical Abilities Test. This includes running a mile in under 12 minutes among other evaluations.
  • Must score at least 70% on the Correctional Officers Basic Ability Test (COBAT).
  • Should not have a dishonorable discharge from any branch of the military.
  • Must not have a felony conviction against their name.
  • Should hold a Correctional Officer Training Certificate provided by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.
  • Must not have any tattoos below the wrist or above the collarbone.

How to Apply to Be a Sheriff in Jacksonville

If you’re someone who is looking for a career that offers a great sense of responsibility, security, and an opportunity to serve the community, then becoming a Sheriff might just be the right choice for you. Being a Sheriff in Jacksonville is not just a job but a chance to make a difference in the lives of the people you serve. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) is a respected law enforcement agency that serves the largest city in Florida, and being a Sheriff here is a highly rewarding career choice.

The JSO has been dedicated to serving the city of Jacksonville and its residents for over a century. The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for law enforcement and public safety in the city, including crime prevention, community engagement, and the protection of lives and property. With a force of over 3,500 sworn officers and support staff, the JSO is a large and diverse organization with plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement.

The Process To Become A Sheriff In Jacksonville

To become a Sheriff in Jacksonville, there are several steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Meet the Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements for becoming a Sheriff in Jacksonville include being a US citizen, having a valid Florida driver’s license, being at least 21 years old, having a high school diploma or GED, and having no felony convictions.

Step 2: Submit your Application

After you have confirmed that you meet the minimum requirements, you can submit your application online or in-person. Your application will include your personal information, educational background, work experience, and any relevant certifications.

Step 3: Pass the Written Exam

Once your application is received, you will be scheduled to take a written exam, which includes questions related to law enforcement and public safety. This test is designed to assess your knowledge of basic law enforcement concepts and your ability to apply them in real-world situations.

Step 4: Physical Fitness Test

If you pass the written exam, you will be scheduled for a physical fitness test, which includes a series of exercises designed to test your strength, endurance, and agility.

Step 5: Background Check

After passing the physical fitness test, you will undergo a thorough background check, which includes a review of your criminal history, credit history, and employment history.

Step 6: Psychological and Medical Evaluations

Finally, you will be required to undergo psychological and medical evaluations to ensure that you are mentally and physically fit for the job.

Programs and Training for JSO Corrections Officer

Here is the table of the various programs and training offered for JSO Corrections Officers:

Program Name


Courses TaughtSkills LearnedDuration
Corrections AcademyBasic jail operations,

Custodial operations,

Security and control

Defensive tactics

Inmate supervision and management,

Communication, conflict resolution,

Emergency procedures,

Inmate rights and discipline


9 weeks full-time
Advanced AcademyCrisis intervention, gang awareness,

inmate medical and mental health awareness

Specialized inmate management techniques, leadership, problem-solving, Stress management2 weeks full-time
On-the-Job TrainingOn-the-job experience, supervised training sessionsProfessionalism, team-building, conflict resolution, policy and procedure adherence6-12 months

Programs and Training for JSO Police Officer

Here is the table of the various programs and training offered for JSO Police Officers:

Courses Taught


Skills LearnedDuration
Police AcademyConstitutional law, criminal law, traffic law, firearms training, defensive tactics, emergency driving, ethics and professionalism, community policing26 weeks full-time
Field Training Officer (FTO)On-the-job experience, application of academy training, supervisory and leadership skills, development of problem-solving techniques,

familiarization with agency policies and procedures

3-6 months
Specialized TrainingInvestigation techniques, drug interdiction, forensic evidence collection and analysis,

crisis intervention, hostage negotiation, active shooter response, community outreach and engagement

Varies based on course

Becoming a Sheriff in Jacksonville is a rewarding career that requires dedication and commitment. The JSO offers a variety of training programs and opportunities for growth and advancement in the law enforcement field.

JSO Police Officer

The requirements for becoming a police officer with the JSO are listed below. You will have to clear them to become eligible to run for Jacksonville sheriff. Candidate:

  • Should be at least 21 years old.
  • Must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.
  • Should be a legal US citizen.
  • Must possess a valid Florida driver’s license.
  • Must clear the Police Physical Abilities Test. This includes running a mile in less than 12 minutes among other assessments.
  • Should not have any tattoos above the collarbone or below the wrist.
  • Must not be a convicted felon or charged with a misdemeanor such as perjury, false statement, or domestic violence.
  • Should not have a dishonorable discharge from the army, navy or the air force.
  • Should complete one of the following:

Jacksonville Sheriff Timeline

Becoming a sheriff in Jacksonville is a long-term procedure. After completing training and joining the JSO as a Corrections Officer or a Police Officer, you must serve in this position for some time to become eligible to run for sheriff.

Jacksonville Sheriff Salary

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of sheriffs in Florida was $66,320 in 2021. This figure is subject to variation depending on various factors such as education, experience, and jurisdiction. In Jacksonville, the salary of a sheriff may be higher or lower than the state average, depending on factors such as budget, cost of living, and crime rate.

To improve the salary figure for Jacksonville sheriffs, several factors can come into play. For instance, more education and training can lead to higher salaries. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field can increase earning potential. Additionally, gaining more experience and climbing the ranks within the department can lead to salary increases. It’s also worth noting that additional benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation time, can add value to the overall compensation package.

Looking at the bigger picture, the demand for law enforcement officers, including sheriffs, is projected to grow by 6% between 2020 and 2030, according to O*Net Online. This growth rate is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Therefore, pursuing a career in law enforcement can be a stable and promising choice, with opportunities for growth and advancement.

Jacksonville sheriffs can explore various options such as promotions to supervisory or administrative positions within the department. Alternatively, they may choose to specialize in a specific area of law enforcement, such as forensics, investigations, or community outreach. Additionally, obtaining higher degrees such as a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field can increase opportunities for promotion and higher salaries.

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