Detention Officer Information


Click here to apply for Detention Officer

If you meet the following qualifications you are eligible to apply for a Detention Officer

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • Must be a citizen of the United States.
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent. **Training and Standards require a high school equivalent diploma be at least partial classroom.
  • Must possess or be able to possess a North Carolina driver’s license.
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.
  • Must meet all the applicable standards and qualify for State Certification in accordance with the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Training & Standards Commission as well as the policies of the Office of the Sheriff of Durham County.
  • You live within 35 miles of downtown Durham (or are willing to relocate upon being hired).
Salary / Benefits
  • Starting Pay - $29,282
  • After Certification/Probationary Status - $ 32,210
  • Vacation / Sick Time
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid on the job training
  • Employee Health Insurance
  • Employee Dental Insurance
  • Employee Vision Insurance
  • County Retirement
  • 401k Retirement
Nature of Work

The Detention Officer I (DO I) is responsible for the custodial work with the transportation, security and supervision of prisoners in the Durham County Detention Facility (DCDF). The DO I performs a variety of duties relative to that care; direct supervision, desk duty and transportation of inmates. Work is performed in accordance with the DCDF policies and procedures, North Carolina Department of Human Resources guidelines, and the Training and Standards Council of the Department of Justice of North Carolina. Work is performed under the direct supervision of that employee’s squad or area supervisor. The applicant must be willing to work 12-hour rotating shifts which includes holidays and weekends.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Knowledge of Federal, State and local laws governing the operation of the DCDF.
  • Knowledge of forms, records, and reports used in the detention facility.
  • Ability to stand or sit for long periods of time.
  • Ability to maintain discipline and order among inmates.
  • Ability to work in a confined area.
  • Ability to deal firmly and courteously with inmates and visitors.
  • Ability to use sound judgment in both routine and emergency situations,
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with other employees.
Examples of Work
  • Patrols the detention facility, maintains head-counts of inmates and maintains the security of gates and doors within and outside of the detention facility.
  • Books, searches, and collects property from inmates and advises all inmates of policies that govern their conduct while in the detention facility.
  • Supervises the cleanliness of inmates, their quarters, the surrounding areas, and their laundry.
  • May assist in serving of meals to inmates
  • Answers the phone, files inmate folders and keep records of inmates’ visitation, showers, medications, and other procedures.
  • Transports and escorts inmates to various locations.
  • Performs other duties and work as required.


Detention Officers’ Physical Abilities Test (DOPAT)
Agility Test will be administered by a Training Officer and must be successfully completed in the time specified.
  • Applicant must wear appropriate clothes and shoes for running the course.
  • Applicant will be scheduled for a Tour of the Durham County Detention Facility.
  • Upon completion of the Tour interested applicants will begin the Detention Officer’s Physical Abilities Test (DOPAT).
The DOPAT consists of:
  • Applicant is given a floor and location before beginning.
  • Advance on foot, up the staircase, touching each step to the second floor.
  • Open the door; advance 66 ft. to the open slider doors.
  • Simulate opening and closing the slider doors.
  • Return up the hall 16 ft., turn right, advance to the first door on the right. {Muster Room}*
  • Remove drag victim from doorway and drag 25 ft. {Exercise Room}.*
  • Enter the room, use the Universal Chest Press machine, in a vertical position squat and lift twice. {Weight will be pre-set at 190 lbs.} *
  • Advance 58 ft. to the end of the hall, turn right advance 51ft.go down to the staircase touching each step, returning the starting point.
  • Complete 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups.
  • Stop, and then recite floor and location given in the beginning.
  • The DOPAT must be completed within 00:02:30 (2minute, 30 seconds).
Upon completion of the agility test, the applicant shall be informed if s/he passed or failed. If passed, may proceed to next step.

Correctional Officer Exam

Reading and writing test
  • Test will be administered by a Training Officer
  • Applicant must pass with 70% or better
  • Applicant will be notified upon completion of test if they passed.
Review Board Interview
  • Successful applicants are scheduled to appear before an interview board.
  • Applicants who are ineligible as a result of the review board will be notified in writing.
Background Investigation
  • A background investigation shall be conducted on each applicant prior to employment.
  • Applicants who are ineligible as a result of the background investigation will be notified in writing.
Final Selection
  • Interview results, tests results, and the background investigation are given to the Sheriff or executive designated by him for final consideration for employment.
  • Applicants accepted for employment will be given a conditional job offer and scheduled for a pre-employment interview with the Training Director. The interview will include setting an appointment for a pre-employment physical and having fingerprints taken.
  • All applicants for Detention Officer must take the Oath of Office before starting employment and prior to assuming any duties, and after each swearing-in of the High Sheriff every four years.
NOTE: The application process will generally take a minimum of 90 days.

Rejected Applicants
  • Applicants who are turned down for employment from any stage of the application process must wait a period of one year from the date of rejection notification before they may reapply for the position they were seeking when rejected.
The order of this process is subject to change at the discretion of the Sheriff or authorized representative.