All candidates wishing to become a Correction Officer with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) must meet the following minimum requirements to apply:

  1. 21 years of age
  2. United States Citizen
  3. High School Diploma or GED Equivalency
  4. Valid, Active & Renewable Driver’s License

Application Process

If a candidate meets the minimum requirements of the application they will be invited to participate in our candidate process to be invited to our Correction Officer Training Academy (COTA) class. All steps of the process below must be progressively completed in order to receive an invitation:

  1. Entrance Exam: Applicants must take a 2.5 hour test administered by the SCSD Recruitment Team consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions and two essay questions. There is no study guide available for this test as it is based on Department policies and procedures which are provided at test time. Results are valid for one year.
  2. Physical Fitness Test: Applicants physical fitness readiness will be assessed with a Training Division-administered fitness test consisting of four parts, detailed here. A video demonstration of each part can be found here. All parts must be passed to move forward. Multiple attempts may be allowed to successfully complete all parts. Results are valid for six months from the date of first attempt.
  3. Initial Application Review: Applications are reviewed in their entirety for completeness, and a national Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check is performed.
  4. Custody Interview and Drug Test: If selected, applicants will be invited to a two-panel interview with a representative of Custody Command Staff and Human Resources. A hair sample drug test will also be administered. Interview and drug test take approximately one hour.
  5. Facility Tour and Background Check: if selected, candidates will be invited to participate in a tour of the facility in which the upcoming COTA class will be placed. Concurrently, a comprehensive background check will be done inclusive of employment history, detailed CORI and BOP review, driving history, and personal reference check, in addition to an ethical, moral, and character assessment.
  6. Full Application Review: The candidate’s application, entrance exam and physical fitness test results, custody interview assessment, completed background check and overall candidate presentation and impression will be reviewed.
  7. Superintendent Panel Review: if selected, candidates will be invited to a three-panel interview with the Superintendents of each facility and the Assistant Superintendent of the Department. If a candidate passes this interview, they will receive an invitation to join the upcoming COTA class.

Correction Officer Training Academy (COTA)

To become a Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Correction Officer, all candidates must successfully complete training via our Correction Officer Training Academy (COTA) at our Chelsea Training Facility.

The COTA is both mentally and physically challenging. Officer Candidates receive daily classroom instruction and physical training in a strict, paramilitary environment. Those who graduate do so with the confidence and knowledge needed to be a Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Correction Officer.

The COTA is a 13-week paid training academy that runs Monday through Friday, from 5:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Officer Candidates are physically trained and academically instructed to become successful and knowledgeable career correction officers with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. Curriculum includes:

  • SCSD History
  • CPR Training and Certification
  • Policy & Procedures Review
  • Physical Training
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Firearms Training

A typical day during the COTA starts with morning roll call and uniform inspections. Officer Candidates will spend the first part of day in a classroom setting learning from seasoned officers and professionally certified instructors. After a meal break, Officer Candidates will continue the day with physical training individually, with partners and/or as group. While the COTA can seem daunting, our Training Division Staff are here to support and instruct Officer Candidates to be safe, successful and knowledgeable officers within the Department – setting them on the ladder to career success.