SHERIFF’S HIRING BLITZ BRINGS
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 — Amid double-digit unemployment rates across Illinois, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department is set to hire in record numbers in the coming months, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Wednesday.
The department is set to hire more than 500 correctional officers in 2010, with the first class of recruits set to come in January. The jobs pay about $45,000 a year and include health, dental and vision insurance, as well as a county pension and plenty of opportunities for career advancement.
“With so many people unemployed this year, we’ve been flooded with applications in general and have noticed not only the increase in quantity but also the increase in quality of applicants,” Dart said. “Now that we have real, meaningful jobs to offer, we expect to see even more applicants. While it is unfortunate so many are jobless, that also means people who might not ordinarily consider a career in corrections might now apply for a job with us.”
The jobs come as a result of a federal mandate that the county add hundreds of correctional officer positions at the Cook County Jail. Since taking office in 2006, Dart has increased hiring standards for correctional officer positions and last year, fewer than 100 applicants were able to meet those tougher hiring requirements. While military veterans are given preference for the positions because they seem to thrive in the jail’s paramilitary environment, all are welcome to apply.
All applicants must be U.S. citizens over 21 with a high school diploma or G.E.D., have a valid driver’s license and must have or be able to obtain an Illinois FOID card. Those considered for a position will have to endure a rigorous physical fitness test, thorough background check and must be willing to submit to a polygraph examination that will include questions about personal acitivities.
Applications are available at www.cookcountysheriff.com or at the sheriff’s merit board office, 69 W. Washington St., Suite 1100, Chicago.