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Detention Officer
Department: Central and North Jail Detention Facilities
City/State: Tyler, TX
Type: Full-time
Relocation: N/A
Contact Name: N/A
Contact Email: N/A
Date Posted: 04/19/2023

Related Experience: One year or less experience. Experience in criminal justice or related field or any combination of education and experience that has been achieved and is equivalent to the stated education and experience and required knowledge, skills, and abilities sufficient to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of this job.

Certification/License: Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Jailer license before completion of one year employment or termination will occur.


Have to meet the minimum standards set by the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to qualify for licensure as a Detention Officer in Texas:

  1. Citizen of the United States of America.
  2. Earned a high school diploma or a GED.
  3. Have never been convicted, pled guilty, nor have been on court-ordered community service/probation or deferred adjudication for a Class A misdemeanor or a felony.
  4. During the last 10 years, have not been convicted, pled guilty, been on community service/probation or deferred adjudication for a Class B misdemeanor in this state, other state, or while serving in the military.
  5. Have never had a military court martial that resulted in a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.
  6. Must possess a valid Texas Driver’s License at the time of hiring for the position.
  7. Minimum age of 18.

Background Investigation: All candidates for full-time employment with the Sheriff’s Office undergo a comprehensive background investigation prior to being made a final offer. The investigation may include but is not limited to a records check, credit review, verification of credentials, and interviews with personal and professional references.

Required Testing: Candidates must take and pass a standardized aptitude test and polygraph. Officers must pass a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement test to be certified before completion of one year of employment or termination will occur.

Psychological Evaluation: To meet the minimum standards set by the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TCOLE) a Psychologist interviews and tests the candidate using various cognitive assessments. The Psychologist summarizes the clinical impressions and makes recommendations regarding the candidate’s overall psychological makeup and compatibility with the position.

Examples of essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

1. Performing security rounds during scheduled and unscheduled times;

2. Creating and maintaining a cellblock atmosphere conducive to respect of others;

3. Enforcing disciplinary sanctions;

4. Maintaining appropriate boundaries with inmates;

5. Initiating and monitoring inmate movement;

6. Restraining unruly inmates using force and restraining devices;

7. Responding to emergencies, including medical emergencies;

8. Dispensing medications as required;

9. Documenting incidents, movement, rounds and inmate discipline;

10. Performing person, property, and facility searches;

11. Complying with all policies and procedures of the Smith County Jail;

12. Performing additional duties as assigned; and

13. Ability to drive a motor vehicle in a safe and efficient manner, including the ability to sit in a standard car seat, use the right foot to operate the gas pedal and brake pedal, use a column gear shift, use mirrors, and properly identify colors.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

Visual capabilities: Ability to detect abnormal behavior and extraordinary activities when observing the actions of an inmate or group of inmates; ability to prepare a written description of personal property and accurately observe inmates; ability to detect smoke from cigarettes, electrical fires, etc. Must have sufficient vision without glasses to defend self and others, and perform mandatory life safety functions; ability to properly identify colors utilized in descriptions. Dual vision is required. Vision must be correctable to 20/20 or better with uncorrected vision of 20/200 or better.

Auditory Capabilities: Ability to hear alarms; ability to hear and understand information received over the telephone and intercom; ability to distinguish between normal jail sounds and sounds indicating impending, improper or unacceptable behavior such as altercations, fights, assaults, etc. Hearing must be within the normal range as defined by nationally recognized audiometric standards, or that surpasses the normal range.

Olfactory Capabilities: Ability to detect the presence of smoke from cigarettes, electrical fires, etc.; ability to detect the presence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs.

Physical Capabilities: Physical requirements include lifting/carrying/struggling/pulling inmates or equipment weighing approximately 150 lbs. occasionally; ability to lift weights up to 40 pounds when lifting and positioning Scott Air Pack on back; ability to climb stairs when moving within cell blocks; ability to work in a standing position for extended periods of time when observing and monitoring inmates, checking cells, escorting inmates, etc.; ability to bend, stoop, and kneel when checking under tables, beds, and mattresses during cell searches; finger dexterity, and hand and arm steadiness when adjusting knobs and switches, and operating computer keyboard; eye, hand, and arm coordination when fingerprinting individuals. Detention Officer may be required to physically restrain inmates in order to maintain discipline among other inmates when necessary. Must use hands or feet in self-defense, physically place inmates in or remove inmates from cells, ability to use restraint devices (waist chains, leg irons, handcuffs, etc.) to control inmates, run after fleeing prisoners, drag immobile persons, grip persons tightly with hand to prevent their escape, crawl on hands and knees to avoid smoke.

Working conditions are inside a jail environment with occasional exposure to hostile or violent people, bodily injury, contagious diseases, high noise areas, and unfavorable fumes and odors.

Typical Work Schedule: The facility is operated 24 hours a day, therefore, shift assignments are scheduled as 12 hour shifts with alternating weekends off. Due to the unpredictable and critical nature of the work, must be willing and available to work additional hours beyond assigned shifts, sometimes with little or no notice.

Computer Skills: An electronic record management system is used throughout the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, to perform this job successfully, an individual should have the ability to learn existing software programs such as AbleTerm and Odyssey.

Other Skills: Knows how to keep abreast of any changes in policy, methods, computer operations, equipment needs, etc. as they pertain to departmental operations and activities.

HS Diploma or GED required; Formal education in human services or criminal justice desired.