General Requirements

An applicant must be a high school graduate or have obtained a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) issued by a State Department of Education and possess one of the following additional requirements:

a) Associate Degree (or 60-college credits) or higher in law enforcement or criminal justice from a college of recognized standing or;
b) Two (2) years of active military service or four (4) years of Military Reserve, National Guard or Coast Guard duty or;
c) Three (3) years of full-time employment as a correctional officer or;
d) Successful completion of the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy, State Police, Providence Police or comparable certified program offered by any state or municipal police departments or;
e) Two (2) or more years of full-time employment in a position requiring the maintenance of law and order and the protection of life and property, including the responsibility for the arrest and detention of persons in violation of law.

Additional Requirements

  • An applicant must be a citizen of the United States.
  • An applicant must possess a valid operator's (driver's) license.
  • An applicant must have reached the age of eighteen (18) years in order to be admitted as a candidate to the Training Academy. There is no maximum age of admission to the Training Academy.
  • An applicant having any tattoos or other body art which is visible while wearing the Division's short sleeve summer uniform will be denied the opportunity to participate in the recruitment process.
  • An applicant must successfully pass the physical fitness examination (Cooper Standard 40th percentile).
  • An applicant must possess visual acuity of 20/40 (binocular vision) or better without correction, and visual acuity of 20/20 or better with corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses).
  • An applicant must possess normal ocular color and depth perception as determined by a Division physician.
  • An applicant must possess normal hearing ability, as determined by a Division physician, without the use of mechanical or electronic aids.

Personal Survey

The Rhode Island Department of Public Safety requires active, intelligent people whose reputations are above reproach. High moral, mental, and physical standards are demanded and maintained.

  • Are you willing to have your personal background thoroughly investigated?
  • Can you undergo an intensive academic and physical training program?
  • Can your family adjust to your absence while you are undergoing recruit training?
  • Are you willing to abide by the rules and regulations of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety and the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs?

Selection Process

  • Written examinations - applicants must successfully complete a written examination, which measures cognitive reasoning.
  • Physical agility testing
  • Oral board interview
  • Complete background investigation
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Medical/Physical evaluation
  • Division of Sheriffs Recruit Training Academy

Physical Fitness Test

Applicants must download the Physical Fitness Test Booklet prior to being scheduled for their physical fitness test. This physical fitness booklet explains, in detail, each event and the minimum requirements for each event.

Applicants must successfully pass a Physical Fitness Test which encompasses the following events:

Vertical Jump

This is a measure of muscular explosiveness or strength of the applicant's legs. Applicants will stand with one side toward the wall and reach up as high as possible to mark his/her standard reach. Applicants will jump as high as possible and mark the spot on the wall above his/her standard reach mark. Prior to the jump, one foot must remain stationary on the floor.

Sit Ups

This is a measure of muscular endurance of the applicant's abdominal and hip flexor muscles. Applicants must lie on their backs, knees bent, with fingers interlocked behind their head, heels flat on the floor. Another applicant will hold their feet down. Heels will be approximately the distance between the applicant's outstretched thumb and small finger from the buttocks. From the "down or starting" position on their back, the applicant will raise their upper body, fingers interlocked behind their head, and touch their elbows to their knees at the "up" ending position. Applicants will then lower themselves until their shoulder blades touch the mat. This will be recorded as one (1) correct sit up. Applicants may rest only in the "up" position. The applicant's score will be the total number of correct sit ups completed in one (1) minute.

300 Meter Run

This is a measure of applicant's anaerobic power capacity. Applicant's will run a distance of 300 meters at a maximal level of effort. The time used to complete the distance will be recorded in seconds.

Push Ups

This is a measure of the applicant's muscular endurance of the upper body (anterior deltoids, pectorals and triceps). The applicant's hands are placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with fingers pointed forward. The administrator of the event will place one (1) sponge on the floor below the applicant's chest. If a male is testing a female applicant, a three (3) inch sponge should be placed under the sternum to substitute for the fist. Starting from the up position (elbows extended), the applicant must keep their back straight at all times and lower their body to the floor until their chest touches the administrator's fist or sponge. The applicant then returns to the up position. This is recorded as one (1) correct push up. Resting should be done only in the up position. The total number of push ups with correct form completed in one (1) minute is recorded as the score.

1.5 Mile Run

This test is used to measure the efficiency of the cardiovascular system and how it responds to imposed physical demand. The applicant must run or jog a distance of 1.5 miles in the shortest time possible. All scores are individually recorded.

Additional Selection Process Information

  • Applicants must obtain a fitness test medical certificate (located within the Physical Fitness Test Booklet) before attending the physical fitness test.
  • Applicants must successfully pass each event at the physical fitness test.
  • Applicants who pass the physical fitness test will be screened by the Department of Public Safety. Those selected for further processing will be contacted for the background examination.
  • Members of Council 94 will be given preference in accordance with the collective barging agreement.
  • Applicants will have an extensive background investigation conducted by a member of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety regarding their past employment record, education, criminal history, consumer credit history, community reputation, military service, and overall character.
  • Applicants determined eligible for further processing are administered a written psychological examination, along with a follow-up interview by a licensed psychologist. All evaluations are interpreted by a licensed psychologist retained by the Division.
  • Applicants determined eligible for further processing must pass a complete medical examination and be found physically qualified by a physician designated by the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety.
  • Remaining applicants files are reviewed and qualified applicants are selected to attend the Training Academy.
  • Upon successful completion of the training program, a recruit is sworn in as a member of the Division of Sheriffs or a recruit is placed on a reserve list. After being sworn in as a member of the Division, a six (6) month probationary period begins. Assignments are based on the needs of the Division.