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Wabash County Sheriff’s Department: Officer Selection and Training Process
The Wabash County Sheriff’s Department is a small county department with
approximately 12 deputies, 4 turnkeys and 4 bailiffs. The deputies who enter into employment in
our county normally stay on staff for the duration of their career in law enforcement, only
leaving for retirement or to move out of the area. When openings do occur, the recruitment and
selection process is thorough and each candidate who is accepted is well deserved of the position.
The Recruitment and Selection Process
Our Sheriff’s Department will often attempt to recruit former military personnel who are
just getting out of the service. They also recruit through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy
out of Indianapolis, Indiana. When looking for new recruits, they try to find individuals who
have ties to the area, knowing this will give them a sense of pride and service in working for a
community with which they are familiar.
Recruits are selected based on their classroom grades, academic ability, skills with
firearms and other weapons as well as their physical abilities. They must be in overall good
health with no physical limitations and must be able to respond to various types of stimulus
under pressure. Their reaction times must be quick and they must be efficient in their reasoning
skills to be able to adequately assess and react during any type of situation.
Major Components of the Training Process for the Academy
The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) thoroughly trains each recruit in all
areas of law enforcement. Physical activity includes obstacle courses, daily exercises and time
spent in the gym to increase stamina and endurance. Academic skills are also stressed as a major
component in the training of future officers. They are expected to know and understand the laws
they are going to be striving to uphold. Recruits are also expected to know and understand their
limitations under the scope of the laws they will be working under. Each recruit is taught to
maintain and fire a variety of weapons, as well as to be able to disarm others in case of hand to
hand fighting. Future officers are also taught how to handle and contain crime scenes and areas
where there may possibly be large amounts of drugs or other threats to the community (β€œBasic
Training Received Through the Department
Once an officer graduates from the ILEA and is hired into the Wabash County Sheriff’s
Department, their on-site training will begin. Before they are issued their own patrol cruiser, they
will ride along with several different deputies to get the feel of how the department is operated.
They will also be allowed to test themselves in the field by participating in routine traffic stops
and dispatched calls. Their fellow deputies will provide feedback in areas where they feel the
recruit may need additional training. They will also help to determine when the recruit has
proven themself effective enough to be sent out on their own.
Regular visits to the shooting range along with other deputies will help the Sheriff
determine if the recruit is able to fire his weapon accurately and effectively. If any further
training is needed, the Sheriff will enlist one of the department’s firearm experts to help the
recruit get up to par. There will also be periodic training in the use of other weapons used by the
Sheriff’s Department, such as Taser guns, mace, pepper spray, and rifles.
Wabash County Sheriff’s deputies are also trained in CPR and First Aid. They are trained
to assess an emergency situation and take whatever measures are needed to secure the area and
protect both the injured victims and the innocent bystanders. Deputies are taught the basic
concepts behind crowd control and diffusing hostile situations that could possibly turn violent.
Career Development Programs
The Indiana Sheriff’s Association dedicates itself to furthering the careers of not only its
members but the youth of the state as well. The Indiana Sheriff’s Leadership Camp was
established in 1980. It is operated and staffed by Sheriff’s deputies from all over the state. The
deputies dedicate their time to showing Indiana youths the benefits of a career as an Indiana
Sheriff’s deputy. The leadership camp is designed to instruct students in what is needed to be an
effective law enforcement officer as well as a law-abiding citizen.
The ISA also offers several other benefits for the deputies who are members of their
organization. Scholarships are available for students and deputies alike who are willing to return
to college to further their degree in an attempt to advance within their chosen career field.
Deputies are encouraged to move up through the ranks of the department and to continue
developing their skills as effective law enforcement officers (Guffey, 2009).
The Sheriff’s deputies who are employed by the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department are
highly trained individuals. They have strong backgrounds in both law enforcement and military
service, as well as a sincere commitment to keep the Wabash community safe. They take their
work seriously and are continually trying to improve the department. This means constantly
striving to maintain a level of excellence that comes with continued education and training on all
levels and every facet of their job. The training they received prior to and during their
employment is such that it reinforces their knowledge and skills and allows them to make
effective decisions and react accordingly.

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