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Sheriff’s Office looks for applicants

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is seeking applicants for its upcoming civil service examination.

The sheriff's office has one vacancy and is expecting another soon.

Applicants who pass the civil service written and physical exams are placed on a list that is maintained for three years. The last test was given in 2010.

The current list is "essentially exhausted," said Capt. Sean Crosier, sheriff's office spokesman. Now the sheriff's office is seeking candidates to fill the new list.

They're looking for men and women of good moral character between the ages of 18 and 45 with a high school diploma or GED. Special consideration is given to veterans and people with prior police experience.

Applicants should not have any felony convictions. Crosier said some misdemeanor convictions, like those involving domestic violence, also would preclude a person from being hired.

"It's an excellent job," Sheriff John Rutherford said. "Every day you come to work, it's something different."

Applications are available at the sheriff's office in Charleston, any detachment or at Completed applications must be returned to the county clerk's office by 5 p.m. April 5.

Applicants will be tested April 27 at West Virginia State University. The physical examination will begin at 9 a.m. at Lakin Field.

Male and female applicants must be able to complete at least 27 push-ups in one minute, 29 sit-ups in one minute and run 1.5 miles in under 14.25 minutes.

Those who perform well on the physical exam will take a written aptitude exam at 1 p.m. in the auditorium at Wallace Hall.

Applicants who pass the two examinations then will undergo a medical and psychological evaluation as well as a rigorous background investigation. Crosier, a certified polygraph examiner for the department, said applicants also would have to take a polygraph and would be interviewed by a panel at the sheriff's office.

As positions become available and candidates are hired, they will complete the 14- to 16-week basic officer training course at the West Virginia State Police Academy in Institute if they are not already certified law enforcement officers.

Once deputies graduate from the academy, they are assigned to a seasoned deputy for field training to learn about Kanawha County and how the agency works, a process that takes about 14 weeks.

Last year the department's 101 uniformed deputies responded to more than 49,000 emergency calls, including everything from barking dogs to shooting incidents, Rutherford said.

The sheriff's office provides the deputy with all of his or her equipment, including a bulletproof vest, weapons and cruisers. Rutherford said the department provides deputies with take-home police cruisers and the vehicles are replaced about every four years.

"This is a great place to work," Rutherford said. "The Kanawha County Commission funds us well. Whatever we need, they make sure we get it."

Most deputies will be assigned to road patrol once they complete their field training, but some are assigned to judicial services to serve as court bailiffs at the Judicial Annex.  

The sheriff's office also offers specialized units once the new officer gains experience. Those units include the criminal investigations section, K-9 unit, school resource officer, SWAT team, bomb squad and dive team, among others.

"We have long been one of the most progressive police agencies on the East Coast," Crosier said. "Our pay and equipment is second to none."

The salary for a Kanawha County deputy is $34,000 for the first year. In the second year the deputy will see his or her salary rise to $36,500 with a bonus of about $3,500 for those on road patrol.

The sheriff's office provides health care, vision and dental benefits as well as a pension plan.

For more information, contact the sheriff's office at 304-357-0169 or visit

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.



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