Ask a Sheriff

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
pacheco
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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby pacheco » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:14 pm

on another note how's everyone's process going for the next class?

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby darwin » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:39 pm

MPI, your experience as a "private investigator" will not give you an advantage over other candidates for our specialized units.

We have a great deal of backgrounds at the sheriffs from former police, correctional officers and others from unrelated backgrounds.
Last edited by darwin on Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mack_silent
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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby mack_silent » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:36 pm

mPI wrote:So someone who has done traffic for years shouldn't think himself qualified to make traffic unit in a reasonable amount of time? I'm not trying to offend anyone or disparage the duties of law court sheriffs but the experience gained from it isn't relevant to the specific job of surveillance. I've never been caught and never lost a subject in 3 years. I come highly recommended from my supervisor from a 95% relevant position. I don't want to fight with anyone, I came here with an innocuous and simple question.


I'm sure you learned alot of new skills working in investigations. I have too. It can be a good stepping stone toward policing.
But policing and private investigations are not "95%" alike.
You say you don't want ot sound cocky... but you've made several comments that come across as very cocky.
There's a fine line between confident and cocky. It's all in the articulation.

It sounds like you're a loss prevention personnel for a retail store or some position similar.
Watching shoplifters on store cameras is quite different to police field surveillance work.

To clarify, ask yourself this question:
Why does a private investigator require only 1 week of training...
Yet a police officer requires 4-6 months for basic training AND 6months to 1 year with a field training to become a frontline constable....
They 5+ years of front-line service under their belt AND upgrade surveillance unit training to get into a specialized role?
KCCO. Wake up. Kick butt. Repeat.

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby HiPowered » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:46 am

Alberta Blue wrote:
mPI wrote:Excellent, thanks^

And if anyone knows, for the position of surveillance sheriff, is post secondary usually required? In a situation where they're not particularly hurting for people. I have 3 years of physical surveillance experience as a private investigator but if I'm going the Sheriff route I want to do everything I can to guarantee me a spot with either SCAN or SISU as soon as possinle


SISU and SCAN positions are highly coveted within the branch. While you can apply for these after your probation is over, you're not likely going to be competitive until *at least* 5 years of service, if not more.

I'm going to be honest with you here. Court & Prisoner Security is our bread and butter. Something like 80% of our staff work in this area. If you are only going to apply to the Sheriffs with the intent of getting into a specialty unit then save both yourself and us the time and trouble and don't apply. The last thing we need is another court Sheriff putting in minimal effort because they signed up thinking they are some kind of special operator only to find out that they will be working in the courts for most (if not all) of their service.

It sounds like you would not be happy working in a Courthouse (access control etc.) so I would encourage you to find a job that will bring you some enjoyment.


This is mostly true, but there are people who have earned a spot on a Surveillance team with just over 3 years service (which is the miminum to even apply for the course). Selection for Surveillance training and employment is driven mostly by aptitude and "fit to the teams", not only on years of service. Previous experience in surveillance from private companies is an asset but not a guarantee for a spot. There are applicants with a dozen years experience who haven't been selected, and there have been applicants with extensive loss prevention experience who haven't been selected.

It's good advice to resign yourself to a majority of your career in Court Security & Prisoner Transport. Positions in specialist teams come up very seldom - in the past three years I believe there have been maybe five spots filled in the entire province. I also wouldn't hold your breath for a SCAN position. Because of the unique qualifications required it's extremely unlikely that a CSPT Sheriff will get a spot on a SCAN unit within the next 10 years or so.

And I didn't find mPI's tone offensive. He's just motivated and a little ignorant about the reality on the ground within the agency, which is what I would expect for someone who isn't a member. And I don't disagree with him - there isn't much in CSPT that prepares you for surveillance. It's a unique role, and the aptitude for it isn't necessarily something that can even be trained or developed. It's highly dependent on personal and interpersonal qualities that (in an extremely simplified sense) "you have or you don't".

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby Warren21 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:30 pm

HiPowered wrote:
Alberta Blue wrote:
mPI wrote:Excellent, thanks^

And if anyone knows, for the position of surveillance sheriff, is post secondary usually required? In a situation where they're not particularly hurting for people. I have 3 years of physical surveillance experience as a private investigator but if I'm going the Sheriff route I want to do everything I can to guarantee me a spot with either SCAN or SISU as soon as possinle


SISU and SCAN positions are highly coveted within the branch. While you can apply for these after your probation is over, you're not likely going to be competitive until *at least* 5 years of service, if not more.

I'm going to be honest with you here. Court & Prisoner Security is our bread and butter. Something like 80% of our staff work in this area. If you are only going to apply to the Sheriffs with the intent of getting into a specialty unit then save both yourself and us the time and trouble and don't apply. The last thing we need is another court Sheriff putting in minimal effort because they signed up thinking they are some kind of special operator only to find out that they will be working in the courts for most (if not all) of their service.

It sounds like you would not be happy working in a Courthouse (access control etc.) so I would encourage you to find a job that will bring you some enjoyment.


This is mostly true, but there are people who have earned a spot on a Surveillance team with just over 3 years service (which is the miminum to even apply for the course). Selection for Surveillance training and employment is driven mostly by aptitude and "fit to the teams", not only on years of service. Previous experience in surveillance from private companies is an asset but not a guarantee for a spot. There are applicants with a dozen years experience who haven't been selected, and there have been applicants with extensive loss prevention experience who haven't been selected.

It's good advice to resign yourself to a majority of your career in Court Security & Prisoner Transport. Positions in specialist teams come up very seldom - in the past three years I believe there have been maybe five spots filled in the entire province. I also wouldn't hold your breath for a SCAN position. Because of the unique qualifications required it's extremely unlikely that a CSPT Sheriff will get a spot on a SCAN unit within the next 10 years or so.

And I didn't find mPI's tone offensive. He's just motivated and a little ignorant about the reality on the ground within the agency, which is what I would expect for someone who isn't a member. And I don't disagree with him - there isn't much in CSPT that prepares you for surveillance. It's a unique role, and the aptitude for it isn't necessarily something that can even be trained or developed. It's highly dependent on personal and interpersonal qualities that (in an extremely simplified sense) "you have or you don't".





well said
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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby mPI » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:40 am

mack_silent wrote:
mPI wrote:So someone who has done traffic for years shouldn't think himself qualified to make traffic unit in a reasonable amount of time? I'm not trying to offend anyone or disparage the duties of law court sheriffs but the experience gained from it isn't relevant to the specific job of surveillance. I've never been caught and never lost a subject in 3 years. I come highly recommended from my supervisor from a 95% relevant position. I don't want to fight with anyone, I came here with an innocuous and simple question.


I'm sure you learned alot of new skills working in investigations. I have too. It can be a good stepping stone toward policing.
But policing and private investigations are not "95%" alike.
You say you don't want ot sound cocky... but you've made several comments that come across as very cocky.
There's a fine line between confident and cocky. It's all in the articulation.

It sounds like you're a loss prevention personnel for a retail store or some position similar.
Watching shoplifters on store cameras is quite different to police field surveillance work.

To clarify, ask yourself this question:
Why does a private investigator require only 1 week of training...
Yet a police officer requires 4-6 months for basic training AND 6months to 1 year with a field training to become a frontline constable....
They 5+ years of front-line service under their belt AND upgrade surveillance unit training to get into a specialized role?


Nope. Infidelity is 90% of our work, some insurance, some corporate mixed in when we feel like taking it. I essentially work out of my vehicle and have worked throughout urban and rural Alberta obtaining mostly video, some physical evidence. I've done cooperative operations where we tail subjects in a group, foot surveillance where we are set up at different points in an area. I'm aware that most people claim investigator when they're just an LPO with an investigator license, but I'm the real deal. You'd call me a detective if we were in the states.
Surveillance is in essence, the same, it doesn't matter who you work for. Get the evidence and don't get caught. Admin, sorry this derailed thread.

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby Alberta Blue » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:04 pm

mPI wrote:
Nope. Infidelity is 90% of our work, some insurance, some corporate mixed in when we feel like taking it. I essentially work out of my vehicle and have worked throughout urban and rural Alberta obtaining mostly video, some physical evidence. I've done cooperative operations where we tail subjects in a group, foot surveillance where we are set up at different points in an area. I'm aware that most people claim investigator when they're just an LPO with an investigator license, but I'm the real deal. You'd call me a detective if we were in the states.
Surveillance is in essence, the same, it doesn't matter who you work for. Get the evidence and don't get caught. Admin, sorry this derailed thread.


Actually, no one would call you a detective, since, well, you're not a detective.

Following some dude around who is cheating on his spouse is not even in the same ballpark as conducting legitimate surveillance on a heat-sensitive target that has the means and will to kill you if you're discovered.

The bottom line is, we offer these career opportunities to people that have shown the intelligence, common sense, loyalty and aptitude to do the job. When hiring from a group of current employees, its much easier to pick out the good ones, and it offers an avenue for career advancement.

The fact that you believe you are more qualified than people we might have internally, with obviously limited knowledge of the Branch and the job skills required, speaks to your level of maturity.

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby allbrancereal » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:49 pm

mPI wrote:Nope. Infidelity is 90% of our work, some insurance, some corporate mixed in when we feel like taking it. I essentially work out of my vehicle and have worked throughout urban and rural Alberta obtaining mostly video, some physical evidence. I've done cooperative operations where we tail subjects in a group, foot surveillance where we are set up at different points in an area. I'm aware that most people claim investigator when they're just an LPO with an investigator license, but I'm the real deal. You'd call me a detective if we were in the states.
Surveillance is in essence, the same, it doesn't matter who you work for. Get the evidence and don't get caught. Admin, sorry this derailed thread.


Sorry mPI, I am going to have to agree with Alberta Blue on this one. As someone who has done the PI work you claim to be doing (including conducting anti-counterfeit investigations which ended up in court with criminal charges), Police or Sheriff work is not even close, let alone 95%.

- If you get burnt as a PI, you can walk away and go home. If you get burnt as an officer, your life and safety are at risk.
- It takes one week and some job shadowing to become a PI and anyone can do what you are doing. It takes years of training to be even considered a candidate for surveillance work in a law enforcement agency.
- If your investigation goes caput, a cheating husband will get away with it or insurance company won't have much to refuse a payout. If an officer's investigation goes awry, the whole case is jeopardized, lives are at risk, charges get dropped, and government loses a lot of money.
- There is a reason you top out at 25-30/hr while an officer makes double that.

Do not rely on your PI work to get you a coveted position with the sheriffs. Do not even rely on it to get you in sheriffs. There are 1000's of you in Alberta and any one can fill out an application, take a course, and do what you are doing in no time. I usually play nice on BL but it rubs me the wrong way when someone who doesn't even have any law enforcement experience comes on here and tells us how it is. Be humble. Seek advice. That is your role on this website.

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby Warren21 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:11 pm

Clearly he is not getting it I wouldn't waste anymore time with this argument. :stupid: :stupid:

He lost all respect after saying " l would be a Detective in the states" like seriously haha

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby HiPowered » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:56 pm

I think you guys are getting pretty wound up over very little. mPI is right in some ways - the surveillance done in PI work can be very similar to LE surveillance. There are some big differences but a lot of the core elements are the same.

Just because the guy isn't a Sheriff already doesn't mean he's patently wrong, and his tone here doesn't necessarily mean he's disrepectful or immature in real life. It looks to me like his question was asked and answered and now everyone is getting wrapped up in nitpicky details.

If he applies, puts his time in and applies for Surveillance, then this will be settled. If not, who cares? It's just the internet.

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby pacheco » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:12 pm

Hey everyone, so i hear the sheriffs are getting more authority ... for those that are sheriffs does anyone know what the new authority the sheriffs will be getting? and the course will be changing to 15 or 16 weeks from 12 weeks! ?

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby Rareform » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:44 am

pacheco wrote:Hey everyone, so i hear the sheriffs are getting more authority ... for those that are sheriffs does anyone know what the new authority the sheriffs will be getting? and the course will be changing to 15 or 16 weeks from 12 weeks! ?


More authority? Such as... Special Constable type authority?

I know the BC Sheriffs have been granted more authority and are slowly transitioning from Provincial Peace Officer status to Special Provincial Constable status.
Special Constable
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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby HiPowered » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:23 pm

Our authorities are very complicated, especially with the different language between the Traffic Sheriffs and Court Security And Prisoner Transport (CSPT) Sheriffs Peace Officer appointments. The CSPT Sheriff appointment gives authority over all federal and provincial acts in effect in AB (which gives S.495 CC powers), but the Traffic appointment limits CC authority. There's some confusion in our agency over where our S.495 CC authority starts and ends, and the changes will hopefully clarify that. There should also be clarification over provincial acts and ticketing, etc. Because as I said above, the CSPT appointment didn't limit authority but since the vast majority of CSPT sheriffs weren't trained on issuing tickets, and (especially in courthouse venues) were typically actively discouraged from issuing tickets, it didn't occur. The clarification of appointments is long overdue and hopefully will tie in with an expansion of traffic powers to include roadside screening, as I understand it. I'm not a traffic guy though - maybe our traffic sheriffs can expand.

Right now though, all we have is a discussion at the Chief's town hall meetings and some APM's to go on. Nothing is policy yet, no appointments have changed and we're still waiting on official word.

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby pacheco » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:50 pm

HiPowered wrote:Our authorities are very complicated, especially with the different language between the Traffic Sheriffs and Court Security And Prisoner Transport (CSPT) Sheriffs Peace Officer appointments. The CSPT Sheriff appointment gives authority over all federal and provincial acts in effect in AB (which gives S.495 CC powers), but the Traffic appointment limits CC authority. There's some confusion in our agency over where our S.495 CC authority starts and ends, and the changes will hopefully clarify that. There should also be clarification over provincial acts and ticketing, etc. Because as I said above, the CSPT appointment didn't limit authority but since the vast majority of CSPT sheriffs weren't trained on issuing tickets, and (especially in courthouse venues) were typically actively discouraged from issuing tickets, it didn't occur. The clarification of appointments is long overdue and hopefully will tie in with an expansion of traffic powers to include roadside screening, as I understand it. I'm not a traffic guy though - maybe our traffic sheriffs can expand.

Right now though, all we have is a discussion at the Chief's town hall meetings and some APM's to go on. Nothing is policy yet, no appointments have changed
and we're still waiting on official word.


well I only ask this due being told they are adding more weeks to the next training class!

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Re: Ask a Sheriff

Postby HiPowered » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:17 pm

pacheco wrote:
HiPowered wrote:Our authorities are very complicated, especially with the different language between the Traffic Sheriffs and Court Security And Prisoner Transport (CSPT) Sheriffs Peace Officer appointments. The CSPT Sheriff appointment gives authority over all federal and provincial acts in effect in AB (which gives S.495 CC powers), but the Traffic appointment limits CC authority. There's some confusion in our agency over where our S.495 CC authority starts and ends, and the changes will hopefully clarify that. There should also be clarification over provincial acts and ticketing, etc. Because as I said above, the CSPT appointment didn't limit authority but since the vast majority of CSPT sheriffs weren't trained on issuing tickets, and (especially in courthouse venues) were typically actively discouraged from issuing tickets, it didn't occur. The clarification of appointments is long overdue and hopefully will tie in with an expansion of traffic powers to include roadside screening, as I understand it. I'm not a traffic guy though - maybe our traffic sheriffs can expand.

Right now though, all we have is a discussion at the Chief's town hall meetings and some APM's to go on. Nothing is policy yet, no appointments have changed
and we're still waiting on official word.


well I only ask this due being told they are adding more weeks to the next training class!


They very well could be. I'm not involved at the college, so I couldn't tell you.


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