Elkhart County Sheriff's Office

Law Enforcement


Submit your application and background information to join our team!     

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office is looking for qualified men and women who are seeking a career in law enforcement. With a tradition of service to its community, we were the first agency and Sheriff’s Office in the nation to achieve accredited status through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 1984. 

Composed of a police force of 70 officers, those hired will be afforded the opportunity to serve and protect those living in and traveling through Elkhart County. On average, our officers respond to over 50,000 calls for service each year, which includes responding to over 2,700 vehicle crashes and initiating over 4,000 criminal investigations. Those applying for the position of patrol officer should understand their duty to protect citizens from dangerous crimes in progress, which have the potential to cause injury or death to the officer. Many of the calls require a response to minor offenses such as infractions, misdemeanors, and serious crimes such as felonies.

Those competing for positions will be required to undergo a written examination that will be ranked according to standard deviation methods. All applicants should be physically fit and must pass the Patrol Officer Applicant Pre-employment Physical Ability Test as well as the  exit standards for physical fitness that are required by the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Candidates will be able to demonstrate the ability to properly and safely handle a firearm with the requirement that this can be done while using both hands separately and independently from each other.


  • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2020

All candidates are expected to be of good character as we are committed to achieving the highest standards of performance, ethical conduct, and truthfulness, on and off duty. To ensure this legacy continues applicants will undergo an extensive pre-employment character background and criminal history check, as well as polygraph and psychological tests.  

New officers are also required to be 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and obtain a high school diploma or GED equivalent. 


A Merit officer (patrol or detective) for the Elkhart County Sheriffs Office may reside anywhere in Elkhart County or may reside inside the borders of a township outside of Elkhart County but only in a township that is adjoining the border of Elkhart County. According to law, a Sheriff must reside in Elkhart County. Newly hired Merit officers not residing in the required area will have 180 days to adhere to the policy. The Merit officer residency requirements order is available here. 

In an effort to attract the best candidates, we offer competitive pay and benefits. The starting rate for a probationary patrol officer is $23.79/hr.  Upon the successful completion of field training, the officer is advanced to a 0-1 year Patrol Officer with a base rate of $24.98/hr.  The officer, depending on his qualifications such as education, military and/or specialized training, may advance as a 0-1 year Patrol Officer through up to five separate levels with a maximum pay of $25.62/hr.  Additionally, experienced officers will be given consideration for their previous experience.  Officers hired with full-time prior employment experience serving as a certified police officer from any federal , state, or local agency will be given consideration, as it relates to their pay rate in the following manner:

  • Candidates having one year of experience or more will be credited one year for each year of experience, up to a maximum of ten total years of credit on the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office Wage Schedule.
  • Officers hired will begin as a Probationary Officer- Patrol at the associated base pay levels for the position.  The experienced officer pay rate credit will be given at the time the officers is promoted out of the Probationary Officer Patrol position.


Examples:  Years of experience= Placement within Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office Wage Schedule


1 Year   =             1-2 Years in Position       Base: $25.23/hr  up to $25.88/hr                        

2 Years =             2-3 Years in Position       Base: $25.48/hr up to $26.13/hr                          

3 Years =             3-4 Years in Position       Base: $25.73/hr up to $26.38/hr                              

7 Years   =            7-8 Years in Position       Base:  $26.78/hr up to $27.46/hr

10 Years =           10-11 Years in Position   Base:  $27.59/hr up to $28.29/hr

11+ Years =         10-11 Years in Position   Base:  $27.59/hr up to $28.29/hr

In January 2016, our officers switched to a 12-hour rotating shift schedule. With the implementation of this new schedule, officers have rotating days off and are scheduled for a three day weekend every other week (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). This schedule provides officers with up to seven days off, per 14-day pay period, which means they are actually working fewer days than before. It is important to note that though officers have additional time off, the schedule provides for more officers on duty when compared to the previous schedule. Below is an illustration of how a typical 12-hour schedule would look:

  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Week 1 0600-1800 OFF OFF 0600-1800 0600-1800 OFF OFF
Week 2 OFF 0600-1800 0600-1800 OFF OFF 0600-1800 0600-1800
Week 3 0600-1800 OFF OFF 0600-1800 0600-1800 OFF OFF
Week 4 OFF 0600-1800 0600-1800 OFF OFF 0600-1800 0600-1800


The Elkhart County Sheriff's Office strongly supports equal employment opportunity laws. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, gender, race, religious beliefs, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status. This 5-page fact sheet answers frequently asked questions regarding the ADA and its impact on law enforcement officers with disabilities.

Employment tests are scheduled throughout the year, and dates are available by calling the Sheriff’s Office Administration building at (574) 891-2300.

Submit your application and background information to join our team!