SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — If you’re physically fit, a law abiding citizen and have the desire to protect and serve, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department wants to hear from you!
The department, which employs more than 3,800 people, is looking to hire 200 qualified men and women to become sheriff’s deputies and correctional services assistants.
They’re specifically seeking female applicants, however, since only 11 percent of OC deputies are women.
Recruiter Nate Beyer said, “We encounter female suspects, we encounter female victims, and a lot of times in doing our job, there’s a personal connection that a female deputy will have with those individuals that a male deputy can’t.”
Deputy Lizbeth Escobar graduated from the OC Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy last December.
“The day I graduated was one of the most exciting days of my life. I knew I had gone through a whole lot to get there. My parents were probably the proudest they’ve ever been in my entire life,” she said.
Before Escobar was accepted in the training academy, she had to pass a written exam, a background check and a physical agility test, which included climbing over a six-foot wall.
“The six-foot wall seems to be the toughest thing for female applicants to get over. But once they get over that, they’ll always know how to,” said Beyer.
Correctional Services Assistant Rian Straly, who went through a 10-week training academy, said she works inside the Guard Station.
“I have (Escobar’s) back any time she steps out of the Guard Station. I’ll make sure that nobody harms her in any way and that somebody will be responding to back her up if she needs people to help her out,” she said.
Escobar and Straly said they appreciate their medical, dental, vision, and retirement benefits, as well as college tuition reimbursement.
“I’m currently going to Cal State Fullerton and I’m about to get my bachelor’s degree,” said Straly.
Beyer said the women work 12-hour shifts, three days a week, which gives them time to go to school.
“You will have four days off,” said Beyer. “Continue your education. The more education you have in this department, the more opportunities will open up for you.”
Escobar said, “My advice to women who want to get into law enforcement is to do it…and do it now.”
CBS2′s Paul Magers said the starting salary for a sheriff’s deputy is $61,000 a year, and correctional services assistants make about $57,000.
For more information on employment opportunities at the OC Sheriff’s Department, visit its website.