Special Deputy (Non-MCSO Employees)
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Special Deputy

The State of Indiana has authorized the Sheriff of each county, by statute, to appoint certain qualified individuals and grant them police powers. These persons are classified as "Special Deputy Sheriffs" in one of two different categories. This web page will give a brief description of these two categories.

I. NON-MERIT POLICE EMPLOYEE - Special Deputy Sheriff

The first category is that of Non-Merit Police Employee - Special Deputy Sheriff. These deputies are employed by the Sheriff's Office and serve as non-merit police employees. Deputies in this capacity fulfill specific responsibilities for the Sheriff's Office as they are assigned by the Sheriff. The non-merit police employee has the powers, privileges, and duties as specified in Indiana statute (IC 36-8-10-10.6). They are appointed by the Sheriff and serve at his will and direction.

The basic objectives of non-merit police employees are as follows:

  • To develop and maintain complete support and cooperation of the public to law enforcement.
  • To strive for full coordination of effort in all official relations with other governmental bodies.
  • To consider police work an honorable profession and to recognize in it an opportunity to render a worthwhile service to society.
  • To encourage fair and impartial enforcement of the laws and individual rights in a professional manner.

At present, non-merit deputies are eligible to serve in a variety of assignments for the Sheriff. Non-merit deputies are assigned by the Sheriff in order to utilize their expertise in certain areas of the Sheriff's Office. Moreover, there are entire sections within the Marion County Sheriff's Office staffed by non-merit deputies. A few of these sections include Court Line (Administration Division), Building Security (Administration Division), Warrants, Reserve Wagon Drivers and various other units within the Civil Division.

Employee Special Deputies are appointed by the Sheriff and serve under his direction. They are part of the Public Employee's Retirement Fund (PERF) and not the merit employee retirement fund.

Currently, the Marion County Sheriff's Office employs in excess of 700 personnel serving in the capacity of non-merit deputy sheriffs. This program continues to grow as it becomes more successful and cost efficient for the citizens of Marion County.

Included in this category are non-merit Special Deputies who are employed by other governmental agencies than the Sheriff's Office. These personnel are granted Special Deputies powers from the Sheriff by virtue of their employment with a governmental agency.

II. NON-EMPLOYEE (BUSINESS) - Special Deputy Sheriff

The second category is that of Non-Employee (Business) - Special Deputy Sheriff. These individuals have been granted limited police powers to adequately perform police duties for private employers. They are granted the authority to (1) keep the peace and (2) to make arrests and to detain - in custody - any person arrested until the cause of such arrest has been investigated.

A person wishing to become a business Special Deputy Sheriff must first be employed by a public agency or private company which has been specifically approved by the Sheriff of Marion County to hire and use Special Deputies. The employer must provide liability insurance and an "Employer's Indemnification Agreement" for each business Special Deputy it employs. A business Special Deputies may work for more than one employer but each employer must provide liability insurance an "Employer's Indemnification Agreement" for each Special Deputies.

If the business Special Deputy is not working for, or engaged in activity on behalf of the employer who provided the liability insurance and "Employer's Indemnification Agreement", they are not endowed with police powers at that time. In other words, when you leave work you do not have police powers.

Only Special Deputies who are specifically authorized to carry firearms by the Sheriff may carry firearms. Such authorization does not include carrying or possessing a handgun while off duty. If a business Special Deputies, not having other law enforcement authority, wishes to legally carry a handgun off duty he must obtain and possess an Indiana Handgun Permit. NOTE: The possession of an Indiana Gun Permit does not entitle a business Special Deputies to possess or carry a handgun while on duty as a Special Deputies. Only those business Special Deputy specifically authorized to do so may carry firearms.

Special Deputy Training

At present persons wishing to become a Special Deputy must attend and successfully complete a 680 hour course of instruction. Classes include report writing, CPR, first aid, arrest procedures, accident investigation, crisis intervention, narcotics enforcement, warrants, building searches, traffic law, officer survival, OC pepper spray, impact weapons as well as firearms. Classes are given on a regular basis at the Training Academy of the Marion County Sheriff located at 901 North Post Road. All scheduling of personnel is handled through your employer.

In January 2005 an updated training policy was implemented requiring all Special Deputies to successfully complete a minimum of 24 hours of I.L.E.A. approved in-service training annually or lose their authority as a Special Deputy.

Business Special Deputy Requirements

The applicant's employer must furnish the Marion County Sheriff's Office with a certificate of liability insurance policy, in the minimum amount of $2,000,000.00 per occurrence / $5,000,000.00 per aggregate. This policy must cover any negligent or intentional acts or omissions, including but not limited to, false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, battery, and any civil rights violations arising from any acts or omissions committed by a an employee while acting within the scope of his duties as a Special Deputies. John R. Layton, Sheriff of Marion County, the County of Marion, the City of Indianapolis, and the Marion County Sheriff's Office must be named as parties being additionally insured.

An Applicant Must:

  1. Be a citizen of the United States.
  2. Be twenty-one (21) years of age and submit a certified copy of a birth certificate with the application.
  3. Be a high school graduate or have a high school equivalency certificate comparable to that issued pursuant to I.C. 520-10.1-12.1 et seq. A copy of the diploma or certificate must be submitted with the application.
  4. Have a valid Indiana driver's license and must not have had more than two (2) traffic conviction in a one (1) year period over the proceeding five (5) year period.
  5. Submit a complete record of previous employment at the time of application including all full-time and part-time positions, employer's complete addresses and supervisors' names and telephone numbers.
  6. Be of reputable character and submit to a thorough character investigation by this Department including signing any necessary releases of information.
  7. Have successfully completed the Special Deputy training required for the duties to which he is appointed or have a law enforcement officer's certificate issued by the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board within two (2) years of the application. Further, a minimum of 24 hours of I.L.E.A. in-service is required annually to maintain Special Deputy status.
  8. Submit to being fingerprinted.
  9. Fire a qualifying score with a firearm at the Marion County Sheriff's Office firearms range, if they carry a weapon while acting in the capacity of a Special Deputy.
  10. Submit to and have favorable results of a psychological examination administered by MCSO or their designee.


An Applicant Must Not:

  1. Have been convicted of any felony charges.
  2. Have been convicted of any misdemeanor charges in the last five (5) years involving moral turpitude. All misdemeanor convictions will be reviewed by Department staff, who will then make a determination if applicant will be accepted.
  3. Be a member, partner, or owner of any firm which holds an alcoholic beverage license.
  4. Be engaged in any business which may conflict with this office or the duties of a police officer.

For additional information please contact: Lieutenant Jan Kistler at 317-327 1202 or jan.kistler@indy.gov.