Sac Sheriff

Academy - Non-Affiliate FAQs

How often are the Intensive and Extended Academies offered?

The Intensive Format course is approximately six months in length and usually offered twice a year. Exact course start dates vary each year due to holidays and the length of break between courses. The Extended Format course is approximately ten months in length, so is offered once per year.

What is a non-affiliate recruit and how many positions are available for each class?

A non-affiliate recruit has not been hired by an agency to attend the academy. This is an unpaid, unsponsored position; the recruit bears the cost of attendance. Each Academy class has approximately 60-70 total recruits. The number of non-affiliate positions available depends on the number of affiliate recruits attending.

How are non-affiliate candidates chosen and what qualities do you look for in a candidate?

The mission of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Training Academy is to prepare recruits mentally, physically, and ethically for transition to a field-training program. With this mission in mind, our non-affiliate selection process encompasses a review of P.O.S.T. Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery scores (written examination), Academy Physical Ability Course performance (pass/fail), and a review of submitted Pre-Employment Pre-Questionnaire and the Oral Interview.

P.O.S.T. Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB): The law mandates that “peace officers be able to read and write at the levels necessary to perform the job of a peace officer as determined by the use of the POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB) or other job-related test of reading and writing ability.” Because performance on the PELLETB is highly correlated with performance in the academy, we use the PELLETB as an indicator of readiness for a career in law enforcement.

The PELLETB is a multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank written examination designed to measure reading and writing ability. Applicants have 2 ½ hours to complete all five sections of the PELLETB. These include:

Spelling - applicants select the correct spelling of a word from a list of options

Vocabulary - applicants select the correct meaning of a word from a list of options

Clarity - applicants select the most clearly written sentence from a pair of options

Reading Comprehension - applicants read a passage and answer questions about its content

CLOZE - applicants read a passage containing blank spaces and use contextual clues to fill in the missing words.

Academy Physical Ability Course: P.O.S.T. does not require agencies or academies to administer any physical ability test prior to hire or selection. However, the Sheriff’s Academy, administers its own physical ability test because we recognize the importance for applicants to demonstrate an ability to participate at an entry-level of physical conditioning. When selected, each academy recruit will be subjected to a comprehensive physical conditioning program, participate in strenuous job related training activities, and incorporate each into the overall training program. Completing the established course in the time prescribed provides a snapshot of an individual’s physical conditioning level and ability to address job-related obstacles and requirements.

Desired Qualities: There are four critical qualities possessed by what is termed an exemplary peace officer: good character, proficiency, professionalism, and leadership. The essence of a peace officer is their character. When discussing character, the Institute on Ethics refers to “The Six Pillars of Character.” The Six Pillars include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.

The foundation of the Six Pillars from our view is trustworthiness. Trustworthiness embodies four essential ethical obligations critical to personal credibility and public trust: Integrity (consistency between beliefs, words and actions); honesty (truthfulness, sincerity, and candor); promise keeping; and loyalty.

First and foremost, integrity is the cornerstone of a peace officer’s persona. If an individual compromises their integrity, the foundation of personal credibility and public trust begins to crumble and eventually implodes. From this, we must clearly recognize the importance of each action or inaction, the importance of character and the potential impact character-based impropriety represents.

Ask the question: Do I set the example in the area of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship? If so, then you represent the qualities we look for in selection. If not, work towards development of a corrective strategy based on education, awareness, understanding, and positive choices and actions.

If I am not offered a non-affiliate position for one class, do I have to re-apply for the next class or can I use the same application?

You must re-submit an application for each Academy class you wish to attend. You will also have to retake the Physical Ability Test and complete a new Non-Affiliate Questionnaire. Your T-score, if 42 or above, can be used if the date taken is within two years of the start date of the Academy. If you are not offered a non-affiliate position and wish to be considered for a future academy, send an email to indicating your interest. You will have to retake the Physical Ability Test unless your previous score was within 6 months of the next academy. Your T-Score, if 42 or above, can be used if the date taken is within 2 years of the start date of the academy.

Can I apply for both the non-affiliate position and Deputy Sheriff Recruit position at the same time?

Yes, we encourage you to apply for both positions.

Can I apply for a non-affiliate position with a T-score I received from another agency?

Yes, the Academy accepts photocopies of T-scores from any agency within the state of California as long as it is within two years of the start date of the class for which you are applying. You must have a minimum T-score of 42 in order to be eligible. Email your T-Scores from outside agencies to

Are there any study guides available for the Entry-Level exam?

Yes, P.O.S.T. offers an Applicant Preparation Guide on their website or you can access it from our Academy homepage.

Is there a payment plan available?

Yes. The non-affiliate recruit is required to adhere to a strict payment plan that is distributed on orientation day. You will receive an invoice based on a fee schedule in which the recruit will be responsible to submit payment prior to the deadline.

Is there any financial aid available?

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Academy is affiliated with the Los Rios Community College but is not an accredited college itself. For this reason, any financial aid information must go through the American River College Financial Aid office. If you are offered a position, Academy staff will provide you with an enrollment letter that can be submitted to the college or for any G.I. Bill assistance for which you may be eligible. The Academy also accepts the California College Promise Grant. More information is available at the Los Rios Community College Financial Aid Office.

Are there Student Loans available?

Any student loan information must be requested directly through a financial institution to confirm eligibility. The Academy will provide an enrollment letter to each recruit on orientation day to provide the financial institution.

What is the likelihood of receiving a job offer after graduating the Academy?

The successful completion of a P.O.S.T. Certified Regular Basic Course (Academy) does not guarantee employment. However, successful completion of the Regular Basic Course significantly increases employment opportunities and enhances overall law enforcement employment marketability.

Every non-affiliate recruit will be offered the opportunity to apply for a Deputy Sheriff On-Call position. If positions are available and the recruit successfully passes their background, including a medical and psychological examination as well as the academy training, they will have a position after graduation.

Is the Academy live-in or do recruits return to their personal home after each training day?

The Academy is NOT live in and each recruit is responsible for their own transportation to and from each training day. Recruits are encouraged to carpool.

Where is the Academy training held?

The Academy

1000 River Walk Way
Carmichael, CA 95608

Firearms training at Kenneth Royal Firearms Range

12270 Bruceville Rd
Elk Grove, CA 95757

Emergency Vehicle Operations training

3905 Alert Rd
Mather, CA 95655

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