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. 20 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:


  • Initial Application Review: applications are reviewed in its entirety for completeness; a national Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check is performed.
  • Custody Interview: if selected, applicants will be invited to a panel interview with representatives of Custody Command and Human Resources. This interview consists of case scenario questions and a review of an applicant’s personal and employment history.
  • Drug Test: as a law enforcement agency all applicants must submit to a pre-employment drug screening, taken via hair sample. Drug tests are administered immediately after the Custody Interview. Several drugs are screened for in the process, including but not limited to: marijuana, opiates, and amphetamines.
  • Physical Readiness: applicants are strongly encouraged to physically prepare for the rigorous challenges that they will encounter during their COTA. The physical nature of our training program is both exhaustive and demanding. For some insight into this aspect take a look here.
  • Entrance Exam: applicants must take a 2.5 hour test administered by the SCSD Recruitment Tram consisting of multiple choice and 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. There are opportunities for retesting should applicants not pass the first time. Results are valid for one year.
  • Facility Tour and Background Check: : if selected, candidates will be invited to participate in a tour of the facility 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, personal reference check in addition to an ethical, moral, and character assessment.
  • 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.
  • Superintendent Panel Review: if selected, candidates will be invited to a panel interview with the Superintendents 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 12-week paid training academy, Monday – Friday, 530 AM – 230 PM. Officer Candidates are physically trained and academically taught 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 aclassroom 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.

Click here to see what a typical COTA looks like and why you should join our team!



View a few sample photos to see a day in life of a few officers: