Detention Officer Information

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Click here to apply for Detention Officer

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office is seeking qualified candidates to serve the community as part of the team in the Durham County Detention Facility. We are hiring individuals who have completed the  Detention Officer Certification Course or those who are non-certified.   

If you meet the following qualifications you are eligible to apply:

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • Must be a citizen of the United States.
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent. **Training and Standards require a high school equivalency diploma be at least partial classroom.
  • Must possess or be able to possess a North Carolina driver’s license.
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.
  • Must meet all the applicable standards and qualify for State Certification in accordance with the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Training & Standards Commission as well as the policies of the Office of the Sheriff of Durham County.
  • You live within 35 miles of downtown Durham (or are willing to relocate upon being hired).

 Salary & Benefits

  • Non-certified Starting Pay - $34,000 plus incentives
  • Certified  - $ 36,769 plus incentives
  • Incentive Considerations Include
    • 2.5% for Associates Degree
    • 5% for Bachelor’s Degree
    • 2.5% for Fluent Spanish
    • 2.5% for Military (Honorable Discharge)
    • 2.5-5% for Prior Experience
  • Vacation / Sick Time
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid on the job training
  • Employee Health Insurance
  • Employee Dental Insurance
  • Employee Vision Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • County Retirement
  • 401k Retirement

For more information on Durham County Benefits, click here

Detention Officer Responsibilities

The Detention Officer I (DO I) is responsible for the custodial work with the transportation, security, and supervision of prisoners in the Durham County Detention Facility (DCDF). The DO I performs a variety of duties relative to that care; direct supervision, desk duty, and transportation of inmates. Work is performed in accordance with the DCDF policies and procedures, North Carolina Department of Human Resources guidelines, and the Training and Standards Council of the Department of Justice of North Carolina. Work is performed under the direct supervision of that employee’s squad or area supervisor. The applicant must be willing to work 12-hour rotating shifts including holidays and weekends.

Detention Officer Expectations

  • Knowledge of Federal, State and local laws governing the operation of the DCDF.
  • Knowledge of forms, records, and reports used in the detention facility.
  • Ability to stand or sit for long periods of time.
  • Ability to maintain discipline and order among inmates.
  • Ability to work in a confined area.
  • Ability to deal firmly and courteously with inmates and visitors.
  • Ability to use sound judgment in both routine and emergency situations,
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with other employees.

Detention Officer Duties

  • Patrols the detention facility, maintains head-counts of inmates and maintains the security of gates and doors within and outside of the detention facility.
  • Books, searches, and collects property from inmates and advises all inmates of policies that govern their conduct while in the detention facility.
  • Supervises the cleanliness of inmates, their quarters, the surrounding areas, and their laundry.
  • May assist in serving meals to inmates
  • Answers the phone, files inmate folders and keep records of inmates’ visitation, showers, medications, and other procedures.
  • Transports and escorts inmates to various locations.
  • Performs other duties and work as required.

DCDF Detainee DO TV



Below tests and tours will be administered by Training or designated staff, and must be successfully completed in the time specified to move forward to the next step.
  • Reading Comprehensive Exam.
  • Sheriff’s Office Physical Abilities Test (SOPAT).
    • Applicant must wear appropriate clothes and shoes for running the course.
  • Tour the Durham County Detention Facility.
The SOPAT consists of:
  • Cone 1 to Cone 2 (140 ft.)
  • Roll Drill, 3 repetitions (a-d equals 1 repetition)
    • Start on top of the 100 lb. heavy bag with left knee on the mat
    • Roll to the right until the bag is over the body
    • Continue roll in the same direction until back on top of the heavy bag (complete when right knee touches mat)
    • Perform complete turn to the left until left knee touches the mat
  • Perform 10 Push-ups
  • Drag 165 lb. dummy from Cone 2 to Cone 3 (40 ft.)
  • Go to Step Box and perform 30 Steps (up and down) on a step box
  • Roll Drill, 3 repetitions
  • Run from Cone 2 to Cone 1 (140 ft.) / Recite Location to Stop Time

Upon completion of the agility test, the applicant shall be informed if s/he passed or failed. If passed, may proceed to the next step.

View the Sheriff's Office Abilities Test (SOPAT)

Reading Comprehensive Exam

  • The test will be administered by a Training Officer
  • Applicant must score a 10th-grade reading scale or better
  • The applicant will be notified upon completion of the test if they passed.

Background Investigation

  • A background investigation shall be conducted on each applicant prior to employment.
  • Applicants who are ineligible as a result of the background investigation will be notified in writing.

Review Board Interview

  • Successful applicants are scheduled to appear before an interview board.
  • Applicants who are ineligible as a result of the review board will be notified in writing.

Final Selection

  • Interview results, tests results, and the background investigation are given to the Sheriff or executive designated by him for final consideration for employment.
  • Applicants accepted for employment will be given a conditional job offer and scheduled for a pre-employment interview with the Training Director. The interview will include setting an appointment for a pre-employment physical and having fingerprints taken.
  • All applicants for Detention Officer must take the Oath of Office before starting employment and prior to assuming any duties, and after each swearing-in of the High Sheriff every four years.

NOTE: The application process will generally take a minimum of 90 days.

Denied Applicants

Applicants denied employment during any stage of the application process must wait one year from the date of rejection before they may reapply. The order of this process is subject to change at the discretion of the Sheriff.