Detention Officer - Trainees and Laterals

Correctional Officer
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office - Phoenix, Arizona

Nov 25, 2020

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Application Deadline:
Feb 28, 2021

Salary Information

Entry Level:
$19.43 hourly
Top Pay:
$28.28 hourly

Job Description

MARICOPA COUNTY invites applications for the position of: Detention Officer

An Equal Opportunity Employer










Phoenix, Arizona


$19.43 - $28.28 Hourly


Are you passionate about serving and protecting your community? Now is your chance to join the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) as a Detention Officer! In this role, high importance is placed on ensuring public safety is provided and maintained by an individual who takes pride in their work and considers the impact of their actions on an individual, team and organizational level.

We are looking for candidates with strong interpersonal and customer service skills, the ability to effectively resolve conflict, and a desire for enhancing public safety. Ideal candidates will have a keen sense of emotional intelligence and be motivated by serving others and their community. If this sounds like the right opportunity for you...your adventure with MCSO awaits!

To be part of our team as a Detention Officer, you must:

  • Be an effective communicator, even in the most challenging of situations.
  • Care about the safety and well-being of others, both within and outside a jail setting.
  • Respect all individuals regardless of background or socio-economic status.
  • Embrace the concepts of integrity, accountability and transparency as core values.
  • Collaborate with team members, supervisors and managers to forward the mission and vision of MCSO.

Compensation is more than a salary with MCSO. Your perks at work include:

  • Paid training
  • A stable environment
  • Great benefits
  • Flexibility and generous leave
  • And, an opportunity to serve your community as part of a diverse and talented workforce.

Do you have experience as an Arizona Detention or Corrections Officer within the last three years? To be considered for our expedited Lateral program please apply for the Detention Officer Lateral position at:


Minimum education and/or experience: Must be eighteen (18) years of age and have a High school diploma or GED, or are expected to graduate/receive GED within the next 90 days. Must be a U.S. Citizen or be eligible to work in the U.S.

Specialized training, certifications, and/or other special requirements: Applicants must possess, or have the ability to obtain by the time of hire, a valid Arizona driver's license. Prior to hiring, the Sheriff's Office requires that all applicants complete the following: background investigation; polygraph exam; medical exam with attestation of physical readiness and psychological exam. Training with the exception of Arizona driver's license to be provided on-the-job: FEMA NIMS – IS100 AND 700, OSHA training, ADP payroll training and PREA training.

Additionally, post hire participation in a 12-week paid detention academy is required and which includes successfully demonstrating physical readiness by completing a series of assessments with the requisite results in order to graduate the academy and remain employed. A seven battery assessment became effective November 1, 2015.

Minimum physical readiness standards: Assessment 1: Maximum Push-Ups What is measured by the Assessment: Upper Body Muscular Endurance Standard for Academy Graduation (Minimum Requirement): Eleven (11)

Assessment 2: Maximum Sit-Ups (Under One Minute) What is measured by the Assessment: Abdominal Muscular Endurance Standard for Academy Graduation (Minimum Requirement): Sixteen (16)

Assessment 3: 1.5 Mile Run What is measured by the Assessment: Aerobic Power Standard for Academy Graduation (Minimum Requirement): 21:48 Minutes

Assessment 4: 300 Meter Run What is measured by the Assessment: Anaerobic Power Standard for Academy Graduation (Minimum Requirement): 1:37 Minutes (97 Seconds)

Assessment 5: One (1) Repetition Bench Press What is measured by the Assessment: Upper Body Absolute Strength Standard for Academy Graduation (Minimum Requirement): 90 Pounds or 53% of Body Weight, whichever is less.

Assessment 6: Illinois Agility Run (consists of sprints through and around cones) What is measured by the Assessment: Agility and Coordination Standard for Academy Graduation (Minimum Requirement): 22.6 Seconds

Assessment 7: Vertical Jump What is measured by the Assessment: Explosive Leg Strength Standard for Academy Graduation (Minimum Requirement): Eleven (11) inches (Fourteen (14) inches if measured with VERTEC)

Preferred education and/or experience: Three (3) years of work experience, prior law enforcement experience, prior military experience preferred.

Preferred training, certifications and/or other special requirements: Currently possess, or have the ability to obtain, a commercial driver's license and/or weapons certification equivalent to standards set by Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZPOST).

Knowledge, skills, and abilities: Knowledge of:

  • Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling, rules of composition and grammar.

Skill in:

  • Using standard office equipment

Ability to:

  • Read, learn, understand, apply and follow rules, regulations, instructions, jail practices and procedures
  • Direct the activities of prisoners by speaking clearly and concisely in an authoritative manner
  • Maintain accurate records and make routine verbal and written reports using concise and clear communication
  • Distinguish between simultaneously sounding audio alarms for various devices, such as radio duress activations, PA systems, phone ringing, and perimeter alarm activations
  • Distinguish color and shapes to identify items for inventory purposes
  • Establish and maintain successful working relationships

Working conditions: Job requires the ability to work any shift due to detention facilities operating 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Job requires ability to: perform sprints, jumping and vaulting tasks; perform lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling; move quickly around objects and obstacles in pursuit situations; and pursue, extract and use force in both short intense effort and sustained effort situations. Actual situations may require efforts beyond the following:

  • Perform lifting and carrying that may include lifting heavy and awkward objects weighing 50 lbs. or more; carrying heavy and awkward equipment and objects 10 to 60 ft.; and carrying equipment weighing 20 to 50 lbs. up and down stairs Perform dragging movements that may include extracting victims weighing up to 175 lbs. and dragging victims, objects or suspects weighing up to 175 lbs., 20 to 30 ft.
  • Perform pushing and pulling that may include pushing heavy objects or people weighing up to 200 lbs., 10 to 25 ft.; pulling heavy objects or people weighing up to 150 lbs., 10 to 25 ft.; and pulling self over 6 ft. obstacle.
  • Perform range of motion activities that may include bending to reach for objects; bending and twisting in use of force situations; crouching during movement of 10 to 15 ft.; and climbing ladders and fire escapes. Use force that may include self-defense situations for 45 to 60 seconds; control holds in self-defense situations for 30 to 60 seconds; strikes using hands, elbows, feet, and knees; use of intermediate impact weapons; and forced entry by pushing and pulling.
  • Perform foot pursuits that may include running sprints of 100 feet or more; running for sustained periods, usually 300 feet but up to 5 minutes; running up and down stairs, usually 2 flights but may be up to 4 flights; run over uneven terrain; and dodge around obstacles.

The following environments described are only representative of how the essential job tasks are currently performed or envisioned. As such, in order to accommodate a disability or limitation, the essential job tasks may be performed in ways other than described on these pages.

Work Environment:

  • Indoors and outdoors. May encounter temperatures above 90 degrees and below 40 degrees
  • Confined areas and use of stairs or ladders
  • Exposure to chemical and fumes, smoke and dust, wet and damp areas
  • Unprotected heights
  • Exposure to high noise, dim and bright lighting
  • May encounter exposure to contagious diseases

Physical Environment:

  • Sitting, standing and walking
  • Driving a vehicle
  • Speaking, hearing, seeing, and reading
  • Distinguishing colors
  • Bending, kneeling, and reaching
  • Twisting, climbing, crawling, crouching and balancing
  • Wearing protective gear
  • Precise dexterity
  • Physical restraining and running
  • Lifting floor to waist fifty (50) pounds
  • Lifting waist to shoulder of fifty (50) pounds
  • Lifting shoulder to overhead of fifty (50) pounds
  • Carrying a weight of up to fifty (50) pounds for a distance of various feet
  • Pushing/pulling a weight of up to 200 pounds for a distance of various feet

Social Environment:

  • Working in conditions involving emergencies and traumatic subject matters
  • Dangerous environment
  • Handling multiple or complicated tasks and frequently changing and unscheduled tasks
  • Working under time pressures with constant interruptions
  • High volume of work
  • High level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Decision making
  • Concentration/vigilance
  • Working in a team environment in close proximity with others
  • May have to work in isolated conditions
  • Isolation
  • Public contact
  • Overtime/rotating shifts
  • Reassignment to different locations


  • Conducts security walks and head counts which involves standing, stair climbing, and walking for long periods of time.
  • Performs facility and inmate cell searches which involve stooping, kneeling, crouching, lying down and crawling under bunks, lifting and climbing to reach all areas of the cell and facility including climbing ladders/stairs to reach overhead sky lights, attic crawl spaces, rooftops, etc.
  • Performs searches of inmates and visitors which includes touching and feeling clothing to detect weapons and contraband; also includes the ability to squat, stoop, stretch, bend to floor level to search pant legs, socks, and shoes.
  • Performs frisk and strip searches of inmates which includes visually observing unclothed inmates to detect weapons and contraband.
  • Conducts continual visual surveillance of inmates and various areas of detention facilities which involves prolonged sitting, twisting, and bending to view various monitors.
  • Provides inmate services such as recreation (spending several hours exposed to outdoor elements), serving meals, visitation, and clothing exchanges which involves lifting food trays, beverage containers, canteen bags, and bundles of laundry weighing up to 80 lbs. and requires bending, stooping, and kneeling.
  • Quickly selects and correctly operates appropriate buttons, touch screen control monitors, switches, and knobs used to control doors, sliders, and communication systems while maintaining emotional control under extreme stress.
  • Pursues fleeing inmates on foot which involves running, climbing, jumping, bending, stooping, and crawling over a prolonged distance.
  • Monitors and controls all activities regarding inmate movement which could include escorting/walking inmates for long distances to various locations within or outside of the jail facility.
  • Uses body force, ranging from mild to extreme, to gain entrance through barriers to gain entrance through barriers to seize or rescue inmates.
  • Subdues or restrains resisting inmates using hands and feet while employing defensive tactics or approved non-lethal weapons which may include kneeling, bending, or stooping as well as lifting the inmate following restraint.
  • Responds quickly to emergency situations that may include physically restraining combative inmates, lifting and carrying inmates during a medical crisis; escorting inmates up and down stairs to evacuate areas while wearing emergency equipment; or putting on air pack for a fire emergency to enter smoke-filled areas appropriately by stooping or crawling, select and open fire extinguishers/hoses and physically removing inmates from danger, which may include dragging unconscious victims (averaging 180 pounds).
  • Performs basic first aid procedures and cardiopulmonary resuscitation which involves kneeling and bending.
  • Gathers information for investigations by interviewing and obtaining the statements of the victims, witnesses, suspects, and confidential informants.
  • Appropriately utilizes technology to prepare electronic Operations Journal Entries (log book), or when necessary hand write information to produce legible reports, using standard grammar, punctuation, symbols, and simple mathematical functions.
  • Inspect and inventories security equipment through testing which includes pressing buttons, turning switches, and lifting/turning equipment.
  • Operates telephones, electronic equipment, fingerprint equipment, ADP time recorders/clocks, cameras, video recording devices, scanners, copiers, and fax machines which involve turning electronic knobs and typing for computer/data entry.
  • Communicates effectively over radio channels while initiating and responding to radio communications, often under adverse conditions.
  • Communicates verbally and effectively, in areas with the potential of high noise levels, by listening and providing information, direction and commands to inmates and/or the general public to manage interpersonal conflict and maintain order.
  • Exercises independent judgment within legal guidelines which involves reading and comprehending rules, regulations, policies and procedures for purpose of insuring appropriate officer behavior/response involving the general public.
  • Subdues resisting inmates using approved non-lethal weapons, i.e., pepper spray (chemical discharge containing Oleo resin capsicum), and conducted electrical weapon (short duration exposure containing 50,000 volts and up to .004 amps).
  • Manually unlocks and opens 8' X 12' metal gates to allow vehicles to enter the jail grounds.
  • Ability to work any shift due to detention facilities operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with regular days off generally being any two consecutive days during the week.
  • Performs perimeter checks in a vehicle and/or on foot.
  • Provides courtroom security and document judicial information, i.e. bond information, sentence, and release information.
  • Inventories inmate belongings such as clothing and personal property for transport to other facilities which involves standing for long periods of time, lifting, and climbing a ladder while carrying semi-heavy bags of clothing.
  • Ensures legal documentation pertinent to an arrest/release is complete and provided to the appropriate departments/divisions/units, i.e. court, court desk, facility which involves proofreading, standing for long periods of time and communication with outside agencies including police and probation departments.
  • Uses a computerized cash accounting system to maintain an accurate account of inmates' funds; may be required to open or close an account which involves sitting for extended periods of time and having the ability to use the computer and other electronic equipment.
  • Be present at work site to perform assigned tasks at the times and dates scheduled/assigned by the supervisor.


The Maricopa County Human Resources Department reserves the right to admit to the selection process only those candidates who are considered the most highly qualified. The hiring authority will consider candidates from a list provided by the Human Resources Department. Candidates referred for consideration by the department will be required to successfully complete a comprehensive background check, polygraph examination, psychological screening and medical screening with attestation of physical readiness. Upon successful completion of these requirements, all hired candidates are required to participate in and successfully complete a 12-week Detention Academy, which includes Physical Readiness Assessments, to continue employment as a Detention Officer.

Physical Readiness Assessments consist of sit-ups, push-ups, a 1.5 mile walk/run, 300 meter run, bench press, vertical jump and an agility run. The assessments are designed to ensure that individuals can successfully perform the physical demands of the Detention Officer position. If hired to participate in the Detention Academy, in order to continue employment, probationary academy candidates must meet Physical Readiness Standards prior to graduation from the 12-week Detention Academy, which are:

  • Sit-ups – 16 in under one minute
  • Push-ups – 11
  • 1.5 mile run/walk – in under 21 minutes 48 seconds
  • 300 meter run - in under 1 minute 37 seconds
  • Bench press - one repetition of 90 pounds or 53% of body weight, whichever lesser
  • Agility run - in under 22.6 seconds
  • Vertical jump - 11 inches (or 14 inches if measured with VERTEC)

If you have any questions about your health or your ability to participate in the assessments, it is your responsibility to consult with your health care provider prior to application.


 301 W Jefferson
 Suite 200
 Phoenix, AZ 85003
 602-506-3755 (staffed Mon-Fri, 8am – 5pm MST, excluding holidays)


It is the policy of Maricopa County not to discriminate in employment or the provision of services. Maricopa County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We provide reasonable accommodation in the application and/or testing process to eligible individuals requesting assistance under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

Job Requirements

  • Age: 18
  • Education: High School Diploma or GED
  • Experience: None

Contact Informaton

Laura Pimentel

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
phone: 602-876-3393

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