Saint Leo Students Get a Chance to Compete on Campus for Law Enforcement Jobs

April 23, 2010

Compete_On_CampusThe Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office sent deputies from the Recruitment and Screening Section and the Training Division to Saint Leo University’s main campus recently to meet students interested in joining the law enforcement agency, and ready to take the fitness tests that kick off the application process.

HCSO employs a number of Saint Leo grads, but it has never come to campus for a “hands on” recruitment session before––and with 10 deputies and a mobile command center (a specially equipped RV) to add to the interest. They addressed one group of students in the morning, one in the early afternoon of Monday, April 19.

 About 35 students in total turned out for the call, and showed the agency what they could do. That meant a vertical leap test, running a mile and a half and a 300-meter sprint. It meant seeing how many timed push-ups and sit-ups they could do in a minute. As the deputies told the students, the experience was unlike any other first job interview they were likely to have, as they were expected to turn up dressed in t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers. The students were also informed that getting an offer to join the agency takes patience and commitment: The complete screening process to join the agency literally takes months, and applicants must be 21 years of age.  HCSO is one of the largest sheriff’s offices in the United States, and more than 1,600 people applied in 2009.
 
In addition to passing strict physical fitness requirements, interviews, and a thorough background investigation, all new employees of the agency must be tobacco-free. About 12 percent of those who start the application process will pass the rigorous hiring standards and be offered employment.  Those hired receive a salary while attending HCSO's Law Enforcement or Detention Deputy Academy, the requisite agency training program.

Peter Wubbenhorst, associate professor of criminal justice, told students in his classes later that week that the HCSO can offer an interesting, dynamic career path. There are many different kinds of specialty law enforcement jobs within the agency ranks, he noted, including, but not limited to: narcotics enforcement, crisis management, marine patrol, bomb disposal, agricultural crimes, environmental enforcement, and canine operations.

The university’s Criminal Justice Program, which is part of the School of Education and Social Services, invited HCSO to campus, and then worked with the Office of Career Services to promote the recruitment event on campus. The agency will return to the campus in the fall semester for another recruiting event.

More information on the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office employment opportunities and qualifications are available by clicking on: www.joinhcso.com.