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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    88

    Looking for insight/experiences in Sheriff Civil Bureaus

    I am not sure that all civil bureaus are the same, but at least locally it seems that the deputies are plain-clothes, firearm-carrying deputies to which their main role is to serve papers, assist in utility shutoffs, evictions, etc.. I will be speaking with the local recruiting, but I try to get input from outside of the agency as well, so that I can get unbiased reviews of the position. Does anyone here work, or have information, on a Sheriff civil bureau position? I am curious to see if you get to participate in investigations and other general police work, or if you are really just an armed server. I would be curious to what the day to day is like for these deputies.

    Please advise, any information would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    88
    My second question would be safety related. I currently am special police, so my role is primarily crowd control, traffic, and assisting other officers. When I do traffic stops or other calls, I am always with at least one other officer, with backup never more than 7 minutes away. I would imagine that much of the serving is done by one deputy, with few deputies in the area in the case of trouble. Is this seen as one of the more dangerous roles in the sheriff's department, or are most of the interactions docile?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    159

    Looking For Insight/Experiences In Sheriff Civil Bureaus

    I am not sure that all civil bureaus are the same, but at least locally it seems that the deputies are plain-clothes, firearm-carrying deputies to which their main role is to serve papers, assist in utility shutoffs, evictions, etc.. I will be speaking with the local recruiting, but I try to get input from outside of the agency as well, so that I can get unbiased reviews of the position. Does anyone here work, or have information, on a Sheriff civil bureau position? I am curious to see if you get to participate in investigations and other general police work, or if you are really just an armed server. I would be curious to what the day to day is like for these deputies.

    Please advise, any information would be greatly appreciated.

    I retired from a Civil Division at the end of 2010. I had worked for a suburban PD for over 10 years before going to a sheriff's office. At the county I worked Court Security, Prisoner Transport, Water Patrol, Snowmobile Patrol, Road Patrol, Welfare Fraud Investigation, Fugitive Warrant Investigation, and Civil Process. In our Civil Process Unit I wore civilian clothing, had a take home car, worked Monday through Friday, with holidays, nights, and weekends off. I served and enforced all sorts of orders of the court, including replevins, evictions, writs, etc. When I was caught up on civil work I worked warrants. I did assist local police officers with calls from time to time if I was in the area and close to the call. I made traffic stops, but I would usually only do it for more serious violations.

    From other deputy sheriffs in neighboring counties it can vary a LOT. Some civil deputies are in uniform and don't have take home cars. For the most part, the larger the population served, the greater the specialization. For example, one county near me has one deputy who specializes in redemptions on mortgage foreclosures. I never did a redemption, so I wouldn't know where to start.

    Some smaller and more rural counties basically give papers to be served to the patrol deputies and it is a real mixed bag on how well that works out. Probably most deputies on patrol don't want to have anything to do with civil process. They want to run on calls and write a few traffic tickets.

    Civil can really get you involved in some diverse and obscure tasks. I seized a lot of property, both real and personal, sold a lot of property at sheriff's auction, took kids away from parents pursuant to court order, kicked a lot of people out of their homes on restraining orders, arrested a lot of people on warrants, etc.

    It is definitely different from patrol work, but having a background in patrol is very helpful. Having experience in investigations is helpful, too. Hopefully that answers some of your questions, but probably brings up some more questions, so ask away!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    88
    Jim, that is exactly the kind of information I was looking for, thank you! Any comment from your experience on safety compared to patrol?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    159

    Looking For Insight/Experiences In Sheriff Civil Bureaus

    Siqqq,

    I think that the safety aspect is similar to most other sworn law enforcement positions. From an anecdotal standpoint, I can tell you that the last time someone pulled a gun on me was when I went to take two kids away from a mother pursuant to a court order. I did used to joke with other coppers from time to time that civil is a "safe" gig since all we do is serve process. The other coppers quickly pointed out the age old comparison of PD vs SO in metro areas. Essentially many residents aren't too worried when the PD shows up because they get used to the PD telling them to shut their dog up or move their junk car parked on the street. However, when the SO shows up it is often to:

    -Take someone to jail on their warrants.

    -Kick someone out of their home on an eviction or restraining order.

    -Take kids away from some bad parents on a court order.

    -Replevin (repossess) a vehicle for non-payment.

    Anyway, when everything is said and done, I could make an argument that civil is safer than patrol or more dangerous than patrol, depending on what aspects I referred to as "evidence". I have absolutely no statistics one way or the other. In fact, it might vary enough from county to county and state to state that it would almost be meaningless. At the end of the day, it is still cop work and with that goes all of the inherent dangers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    88
    Fair enough. Once again, thank you for your insight, this is more helpful to hear it from the horses mouth than any human resources page I can read.


 

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