CHESAPEAKE, Va. - You may be thinking of starting a career in law enforcement, but ask those in the field and they will tell you it involves perseverance, physical, and mental strength.
"If you are confident, committed, and community-oriented, then we want you,” Maj. David Rosado with the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office said.
The Chesapeake Law Enforcement Training Academy opened their doors to News 3 to demonstrate what you can expect when you start. Maj. Rosado is one of the academy instructors.
Recruits will be put under physical fitness tests. The agility course at the Chesapeake Training Academy has series of obstacles that mimic scenarios deputies may encounter on duty.
The recruits are required to run, jump, and crawl. Part of the agility course also involves memorizing details of a suspect that the recruit needs to identify based on the information given by the instructor. There was also a 150-pound dummy that recruits had to pull a short distance and lay down gently.
The instructors said everyone typically finishes in under two minutes. News 3 Reporter Julio Avila ran the course and finished in 1:28.
There were two recruits scheduled to take to run the course, after a one-and-a-half mile run. One recruit ran the agility course in 1:16.
"If you're able to pass our physical agility course we have the whole 17-week academy to get you in better shape,” Rosado said.
If you pass after those 17 weeks, you will be sworn in as a deputy. You should not expect just physical tests, though.
"Through the academy, we take a collective of 11 written tests,” Sgt. Nikki Pascal, assistant director of the training academy, explained, “two weeks of defensive tactics, one week of driving, and we also have one week of firearms."
If you think you can handle all the requirements then you might fit right in.
"It's challenging but it is absolutely doable,” Sgt. Pascal said.
Right now, Sheriff’s offices across the region, including Chesapeake, are facing a shortage in applicants. They are looking to hire and retain deputies.
Sheriff’s Offices have had to adjust hiring practices, such as lowering the hiring age from 21 to 18. In previous interviews, sheriffs from across Hampton Roads have said the new hiring age has resulted in new recruits.
"Once they do this and know that they can accomplish this,” Rosado said, “everything else is going to fall in place."