Professional Standards

Professional Standards Division Seal

Portrait of Luke South
Captain Luke South

Mission Statement

The Professional Standards Division is committed to providing essential support services to the Sheriff-Coroner Department and it’s personnel by maintaining high standards of ethics and professionalism in the areas of recruitment, selection, personnel records maintenance, labor relations, human resource management and administrative investigation. We pledge to provide these services with integrity, courtesy and operational efficiency.

The Professional Standards Division (PSD) is responsible for providing a myriad of critical services that support the mission and operations of the Sheriff's Department. The units of the Professional Standards Division provide a variety of support services to the other twenty divisions of the Department that include recruiting, pre-employment background investigations, and promotional functions; processing human resource referrals, job classification issues, and receiving discrimination complaints; investigating internal and citizen-generated complaints of alleged misconduct against employees; and providing a host of clerical support and functions that ensure the Department's 4,618 sworn, reserve, and professional staff members are properly uniformed, equipped, and supported in their daily duties. The Professional Standards Division also provides business licensing services and processes and approves the issuance of concealed weapons permits.  

The sixty-one sworn and professional staff members of the Professional Standards Division perform their duties in a collaborative environment. They work diligently with the other divisions along with County, State, and Federal governmental agencies to uphold employment and performance standards that ensure the Sheriff's Department continues to be staffed by the highest caliber of personnel in the law enforcement profession. The division is also responsible for assuring non-discrimination and equal opportunity compliance.


The Recruiting Unit is responsible for identifying and targeting applicant pools to fill the sworn and professional staff vacancies in the Department. Active efforts are undertaken to select the most qualified applicants by administering rigorous selection processes. Advertising and community involvement are cornerstone activities of the Recruiting Unit.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department offers very competitive salary and benefit packages.

  • Deputy Sheriff Trainee (Academy)
    $31.96/hour, $66,476.80 annually
  • Deputy Sheriff I (Entry Level)
    $33.71/hour, $70,116.80 annually
  • Deputy Sheriff I (Maximum)
    $48.36/hour, $100,588.80 annually
  • Deputy Sheriff II (Maximum)
    $51.10/hour, $106,288.00 annually

    Plus, Incentive Pay For:
    • Bilingual
    • Shift Differential
    • POST Certifications
    • Special Assignment
    • Field Training Officer

The Sheriff's Department Recruiting Unit can be reached at (714) 834-5811, or toll free at 1-877-SHERIFF or by accessing the Department's website at



The Background Unit is responsible for investigating applicants to ensure they meet the high standards of employment maintained by the Sheriff's Department. Detailed investigations are undertaken to scrutinize the past history of applicants to include previous criminal behavior, prior work performance, credit, personal relationships, and driving record. The background investigative process for sworn applicants is comprehensive and includes written and physical agility tests, an oral interview panel, a background interview, and psychological and medical evaluations followed by rigorous instruction at the Sheriff's Training Academy.

Position Control

The Position Control Unit is responsible for the placement of newly hired and promoted employees into one of  170 different job classifications; is responsible for tracking all Department transfers within its 21 Divisions; and generates and disseminates monthly Department-wide vacancy reports to Sheriff's Administration, Financial Services, and all other divisions.

Employee Services

The Employee Services Unit provides on-going career life-cycle support to employees and divisions of the Department by processing a wide range of personnel transactions such as: promotions, merit increases, probation approvals, leave of absences, uniform requests, employment verification, tuition reimbursement, performance evaluations, separations, the maintenance of personnel files, and issuance of identification cards.  This Unit also facilitates new employee sign-ups and orientation, administers the Catastrophic Leave program, and has the pleasure of issuing retirement plaques for eligible employees.

Human Resources

The Human Resources Unit is responsible for conducting Department classification studies, market comparison studies, responding to classification and compensation surveys, and working closely with the various employee associations. Daily, the HR Specialists interact with employees, supervisors and managers assisting with conflict resolution, MOU interpretation and other issues regarding terms and conditions of employment. This is a highly specialized unit that has a broad impact on Department and County business.