Hamilton County Sheriff's Office



What is a Special Deputy?




A VOLUNTEER NON-PAID OFFICER with the Sheriff's Office, who is utilized to serve as an auxiliary or supplemental assistance to various regular activities of the Sheriff's Office. THIS IS NOT A REGULAR DEPUTY SHERIFF POSITION.




The Special Deputy is commissioned to act only upon assignment through the Sheriff. This is not a full commission. The rights and authorities accompanying such commission are as designated by the Sheriff, and are carried out in a uniformed capacity.



You must be at least twenty-one years of age to be appointed a Special Deputy.

Anyone with a visible tattoo or body piercing (except in the ear), which is visible while wearing a standard T-shirt, is not eligible for appointment as a  Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Special Deputy. 

Sheriff's Office policy prohibits the appointment of an individual to the position of Special Deputy who is employed in the private security field or whose occupation is primarily serving alcoholic beverages. 

A Special Deputy may not have any pending charges or convictions of any felony or any misdemeanor involving violence, firearms or illegal possession of any drug of abuse. Ohio Revised Code, Section 2953.32(D)(6) permits sealed convictions (expungement) to be inspected by a law enforcement agency as part of a background investigation for a law enforcement position.  For the purposes of our background investigation, you will be required to report any criminal convictions sealed (expunged) including any minor misdemeanor arrests.

The Special Deputy Program operates under the direction of the Patrol Division and has an authorized strength of one hundred deputies.  Applications are accepted on a continuous basis from individuals who have completed the Ohio Basic Peace Officer Academy.  However, individuals submitting an application when the Special Deputy Unit is at its authorized capacity will be notified their application will be placed on a waiting list for one year.  Applications from individuals who need to attend the Ohio Basic Peace Officer Academy will only be accepted six months prior to a Hamilton County Sheriff's Patrol Academy being scheduled.  Please call 513-825-1500 and ask to speak to the Academy Commander to determine if an Academy has been scheduled.

It is essential you understand the demands and expectations placed upon you when appointed a Special Deputy.  Please carefully review the following summary of issues you will encounter in pursuing appointment as a Special Deputy. 

The challenges and commitments required by the Special Deputy Program should not be taken lightly.  Consider the demand on your family and social obligations, as well as, the financial commitment you will assume. The Special Deputy Program may not be easy and may be considered by some to be extremely demanding. The Special Deputy Program will challenge you physically, mentally, academically and emotionally.   Both you and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office will have time and a financial investment in your participation in the Special Deputy Program; therefore, anything less than a sincere commitment to meeting the needs and requirements of the Special Deputy Program is unacceptable.

If you are becoming a Special Deputy only to activate or maintain your peace officer certification, the Special Deputy Program is not right for you, as you must agree to a three year commitment to the Special Deputy Program.

A commission as a Special Deputy with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is a voluntary, auxiliary, non-compensated position coordinated in conjunction with the Hamilton County Special Deputy Sheriffs, Incorporated, which is a 501.3.C non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio.  A Special Deputy is not an employee of the County of Hamilton or the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and the position offers no healthcare, retirement or other benefits. Hamilton County will provide Workers Compensation only during the time a Special Deputy is performing authorized duties directly benefiting the Sheriff’s Office.  Workers Compensation is provided by the Hamilton County Special Deputy Sheriff’s, Incorporated, while performing authorized law enforcement functions as an independent contractor for private pay employers.  Special Deputies serve at the pleasure of the Hamilton County Sheriff.


The Hamilton County Special Deputy Sheriffs, Incorporated, (HCSDS) is a separate entity from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and as such you will be required to pay monthly dues to remain a member in good standing of that organization.  In addition to the dues requirement, a Special Deputy must provide a minimum of volunteer service or duty to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Currently there is a monthly minimum eight-hour requirement of volunteer, non-compensatory and non-remunerable service or duty to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.  The eight-hour volunteer duty is normally performed in conjunction with the Patrol Division's areas of responsibility and is scheduled in advance whenever possible.  However, there are times when the Sheriff's Office will have need for auxiliary law enforcement on short notice, and the Special Deputies are expected to make themselves available without undue delay.

A Special Deputy must follow all the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the Sheriff’s Office.  Wherever the word “employee” is mentioned within the rules, regulations, policies, procedures or any Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office form, except for compensatory items, it shall apply to Special Deputies.  It must be recognized as a Special Deputy, the word “employee” within the rules, regulations, policies, procedures or forms shall not imply a Special Deputy is an employee of the Sheriff’s Office or that a Special Deputy has any rights, entitlements or privileges of an employee.  A Special Deputy does not qualify for compensation from the Sheriff of Hamilton County or the County of Hamilton for performing the duties of a Special Deputy.  If a Special Deputy violates any of the rules, regulations, policies or procedures of the Sheriff’s Office, they may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including revocation of the Special Deputy commission.  As a non-employee, a Special Deputy does not have a right to a disciplinary hearing and does not qualify for any grievance or arbitration procedures.  A Special Deputy’s only recourse concerning disciplinary action shall be to request, via the chain-of-command, an opportunity to be heard via a meeting with the Sheriff.  Violations of the rules or policies of the Hamilton County Special Deputy Sheriff’s, Incorporated, may result in administrative suspension from assignment to private employer paid duty, commonly referred to as off duty details.    

A commission as a Special Deputy is one method that may lead to employment in the classification of peace officer (law enforcement officer) with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.  The other method is to be commissioned as a Corrections Officer.  To be eligible to apply for the next scheduled Patrol Division eligibility examination, the candidate must have completed one year as a Special Deputy or Corrections Officer.  There is no guarantee, promise or agreement being commissioned as a Special Deputy will result in full time employment within the Sheriff’s Office.



A Special Deputy is not an employee of Hamilton County or the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and it is the individual’s obligation to purchase certain equipment not supplied by the Hamilton County Special Deputy Sheriffs, Incorporated. The financial obligation required to purchase the required equipment may be significant. The Hamilton County Special Deputy Sheriffs, Incorporated, will provide required uniform clothing, but the individual Special Deputy must purchase the following items.

  • Uniform shoes (must meet Sheriff’s Office requirements)
  • Service weapon (must be the service weapon required by the Sheriff)
  • Soft body armor
  • Leather equipment (duty belt, handcuffs, etc.)
  • Defensive baton and mace or stun gun device
  • Other equipment deemed necessary by the Sheriff

If you have already successfully completed the Ohio Basic Peace Officer Training Academy, you may not be required to attend the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Patrol Academy.  However, you will be responsible for completing any refresher course(s) required by Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC).  These refresher courses may not be available through the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office but may be available through other training locations.  Any refresher course(s) shall be completed within the timeframe established by OPOTC and at the expense of the individual.  All individuals becoming Special Deputies will be required to attend training administered by the Sheriff’s Office that includes various topics and policies unique to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.  The date of the training will be determined by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and attendance is mandatory. 

If you have not completed the Ohio Basic Peace Officer Training Academy and desire to obtain the training from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Patrol Academy,
please refer to the section, “INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL BE ATTENDING THE SHERIFF’S PATROL ACADEMY”, in the Special Deputy application available at the www.HCSO.Org website.  The Sheriff’s Office Patrol Academy scheduled dates are dependent on the needs of the agency.  Please call 513-825-1500 and ask to speak to the Academy Commander to determine if an Academy is being offered.


A monetary benefit of the Special Deputy position may be your ability to work authorized, approved, private employer compensated, law enforcement functions, commonly referred to as off duty details.  While performing authorized, private employer compensated, law enforcement functions as a Special Deputy, you are an independent contractor working under the color of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and you are responsible to pay any applicable taxes or fees associated with being an independent contractor.


Being a Special Deputy can be a rewarding life experience but requires the individual to possess a true commitment and desire to serve their community.  



Intersted in becoming a Special Deputy?

Oblibations and Responsibilities

The Special Deputy will be assigned to one of the four Special Deputy Units across the county. The Special Deputy will be required to:

  • Attend all scheduled training sessions 
  • Attend scheduled Unit meetings Work scheduled Unit and Departmental details. 
  • Participate in the mandatory patrol vehicle "Ride Program". This is riding with a regular Deputy for familiarization purposes. A minimum of eight hours per month is required. 
  • Maintain firearms qualification within the Sheriff's Office standard range program 
  • Meet all requirements as dictated by the Sheriff's Office Rules and Regulations for regular officers. 
  • Meet the department's physical requirements in order to complete Physical Agility Test Standards, if accepted in the program

Height/Weight & Run/Walk Requirements

                                                                   MINIMUM                                                                                         MAXIMUM
ACCEPTABLE                                   AVERAGE                               ACCEPTABLE
                   HEIGHT                                    WEIGHT                                         WEIGHT                                     WEIGHT *
5 FEET / 0 INCHES                               113                                                  131                                              155
1                                              116                                                  134                                              159
2                                              118                                                  137                                              163
3                                              122                                                  141                                              166
4                                              125                                                  145                                              171
5                                              129                                                  149                                              175
6                                              133                                                  153                                              180
7                                              136                                                  157                                              186
8                                              140                                                  161                                              189
9                                              143                                                  165                                              194
10                                             148                                                  170                                              200
11                                             152                                                  174                                              204
6 FEET / 0 IN                  156                                                  179                                              219
1                                              160                                                  183                                              223
2                                              164                                                  188                                              229
3                                              169                                                  193                                              235
4                                              174                                                  199                                              242
5                                              179                                                  204                                              248
6                                              184                                                  210                                              255
7                                              189                                                  215                                              261
8                                              194                                                  221                                              267
9                                              199                                                  226                                              273
10                                             204                                                  232                                              279
11                                             209                                                  238                                              285
7 FEET / 0 IN                                    214                                                  243                                              291

* Add one pound to the maximum allowable weight for every year over the age of 40.

                                                                   MINIMUM                                                                                         MAXIMUM
ACCEPTABLE                                   AVERAGE                               ACCEPTABLE
                   HEIGHT                                    WEIGHT                                         WEIGHT                                     WEIGHT *
4 FEET / 8 INCHES                                95                                                   111                                              137
9                                               97                                                   113                                              140
10                                              99                                                   115                                              142
11                                             100                                                  117                                              144
5 FEET / 0 INCHES                               103                                                  120                                              148
1                                              106                                                  123                                              152
2                                              108                                                  125                                              155
3                                              111                                                  129                                              159
4                                              114                                                  132                                              162
5                                              117                                                  135                                              166
6                                              120                                                  139                                              171
7                                              123                                                  142                                              174
8                                              130                                                  146                                              179
9                                              130                                                  150                                              184
10                                             134                                                  154                                              189
11                                             138                                                  158                                              195
6 FEET / 0 INCHES     143                                                  164                                              201
1                                              147                                                  168                                              207
2                                              151                                                  172                                              213
3                                              155                                                  176                                              219
4                                              159                                                  180                                              225
5                                              164                                                  184                                              231
6                                              168                                                  188                                              237
7                                              171                                                  191                                              243
8                                              175                                                  195                                              249

  • Add one pound to the maximum allowable weight for every year over the age of 40.



Fitness Category







60 +

III.  Fair

















Fitness Category







60 +

III.  Fair
















Application Requirements

If your application is accepted for the position of Special Deputy you will be required to:

  • Demonstrate you are in compliance with the height / weight standards and agree to maintain the required weight standard.
  • Demonstrate you are able to perform the physical fitness standards at the “Fair” level for the 1.5 mile run or 3 mile walk as well as successfully complete the standards for the Agility Course as set forth in General Order #311, (copy available upon request).
  • May be required to have a licensed physician complete a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office fitness for duty form.
  • You must pass a home interview.
  • You must pass a background investigation.
  • You must pass a Patrol Division Commander’s interview.
  • You must pass a truth verification test.
  • You must pass an interview with the Sheriff.
  • You must pass a substance abuse test.
  • You must agree to the monetary commitment.
  • Comply with the grooming standards set forth by the Sheriff’s Office as outlined in General Order 211, (copy available upon request)


Online Appliction If you are already OPOTA certified, you can complete the Special Deputy Application.





















Sheriff's Office in Action

image Helicopter Visiting Elementary School
image Pipe & Drum Band Marching in Area Parade

Simon L. Leis Jr.

Sheriff Simon L. Leis, Jr. was appointed Sheriff of Hamilton County, Ohio in 1987.

Sheriff Leis has been affectionately called "The Great Three-in-One of the Justice System" because of his accomplishments, serving as Prosecutor, Judge, and Sheriff of Hamilton County during his prestigious career.

Sheriff Leis has served the citizens of Hamilton County in one capacity or another since 1961.  He served the city of Cincinnati as Assistant City Prosecutor and  Assistant City Solicitor before being elected Hamilton County Prosecutor from 1971-1982.  He also served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Ohio for two years.

In 1982, he donned the robes of justice, taking the bench as a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas until 1987 when he was appointed to serve as Sheriff of Hamilton County. 

In 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Sheriff Leis was re-elected to 4 year terms as Sheriff.