The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office is looking for qualified personnel to fill several available positions ranging from deputies and correctional officers to dispatchers.
And they’re willing to pay extra for those willing to join the county’s largest law enforcement agency.
Last week the department issued a notification that $10,000 hiring bonuses and reimbursement of up to $2,000 for moving expenses were now available for qualified applicants who are hired for one of the available positions – deputy sheriff trainees, deputy sheriff’s that are academy certified, deputy sheriff lateral transfers, correctional officer trainees, correctional officer lateral transfers, and communications dispatchers.
“It’s an amazing career – absolutely an amazing career,” San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow said in a video produced to help attract applicants. “You get to help people in their time of need – when somebody is trying to take advantage of somebody else, you get to be there to try and protect them.
“You’re going to have some of the best moments of your life interacting with your fellow workers here at the department – the family we’ve created here. There are some segments of our department that become SWAT team members, or K9 officers, but most of the people come into our department so that they can go out into the community and interact with the public.”
In addition to providing law enforcement services for the rural parts of San Joaquin County, the agency also covers unincorporated areas in the county – Lincoln Village in Stockton, for example – and provides contract policing services to communities that do not have their own sworn departments.
Since the City of Lathrop was incorporated more than 30 years ago the sheriff’s office has been providing law enforcement services to the growing community – something that Withrow fought to preserve after he was elected and before he was sworn in when it became public that the city was looking for more cost-friendly contracts from neighboring communities. By the end of this year Lathrop hopes to have its new state-of-the-art police facility open in River Islands – the first complex ever built in Lathrop specifically for law enforcement use – to be staffed by sheriff’s department personnel assigned to the city.
And being the county’s law enforcement office there are more than just your typical police-related jobs.
While patrol constitutes a large part of the agency’s mission, the sheriff’s office is also responsible for the custody of those awaiting trial in San Joaquin County and those sentenced to less than a year in jail, and they also provide security at the San Joaquin County Superior Court in Downtown Stockton and branch courthouses in Manteca and Lodi as well as other county complexes.
That variety, Withrow said, helps the career appeal to a wider range of prospective recruits.
“When people get hired they either work the streets or in our correctional division – where they are interacting with people who have made mistakes in their life,” Withrow said. “They get to make a change and the officers get to help them make a change here while in custody. I think that people would be really surprised by that – it’s a lot different breed of officer that is coming into law enforcement these days.
“I always try and tell young officers about what a difference they can make in each person’s life that they come into contact with. There are very few jobs where you get that opportunity – where you get to make a huge difference in a very short amount of time in a positive way.”
Last year San Joaquin County approved a new 36-month contract with the San Joaquin County Deputy Sheriff’s Association that will include a 6 percent raise over the three years of the contract and provide longevity supplements for officers that stay employed with the agency for a period of time – paid at 7, 10, and 20 years of service to the county.
The fight over a new contract ultimately led to the temporary closure of the San Joaquin County Superior Court when the bailiffs assigned to that division called in sick to stand in solidarity with their fellow deputies. Ultimately Withrow made the decision to pull officers assigned to special locations – like those that provided support and security for the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors meetings and other county buildings – to help offset staffing shortages that were caused by an exodus of officers leaving for neighboring jurisdictions for more pay. The hiring bonus as well as a new contract for sworn personnel is expected to help offset those losses as the agency works to replenish its ranks.
For additional information about the necessary qualifications prospective applicants can call 209.468.5018 to speak with a recruiter directly or they may visit the sheriff’s office homepage at www.sjsheriff.org and click the tab at the top of the screen titled “Join Our Team Today.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.