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It all started when…

Some people grew up their entire life knowing they wanted to be a deputy sheriff.  Some people have experienced that life changing moment that made them realize they wanted to be a deputy sheriff.  Some people witnessed something and knew they wanted to make a difference.  Whatever your journey has been, you took that big step and applied.

You showed up on test day and passed that written test.  You went outside and passed that physical agility test.  There was one thing that really stood out to you.  As you looked around, you could not help but notice there were hundreds of other applicants who want the same position as you.  The question you ask yourself, “How do I stand out amongst this much competition?”  “How do I prove that I am the right person for this career field?”  Although there are many answers to this question, today I am going to address one important aspect, which I will call, “Looking the part.”

Professionalism is of the upmost importance in law enforcement.  I am sure we have all heard the term, “First impressions mean everything.”  This means on the day you come in to meet with your background investigator you are meeting our department standards.  Your background investigator can look at you and immediately envision you in our uniform.

To help us understand this, I will refer to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office policy and procedures regarding grooming standards.


Male applicants- A business suit or a sport coat with coordinated dress slacks, dress shirt, necktie and dress shoes. "Dockers", "patch pocket" pants or similar trousers are not acceptable.

Female applicants- A dress suit, skirt or pants with a coordinated blouse, sweater or jacket and dress footwear.


Male applicants-Male sworn members shall keep their hair neat, clean and properly trimmed. The hair shall be moderately tapered, shall not extend below the top of the collar, nor cover any portion of the ear.  Color shall be limited to naturally occurring shades.

Female applicants-Female sworn members shall keep their hair in a conservative, neat, contemporary fashion. Color shall be limited to naturally occurring shades. Ornamentation and fasteners (pins, clips, bands, etc.) shall be demure in color, style and size.


Male applicants-Male sworn members and professional staff members shall not wear earrings.

Female applicants-Uniformed female sworn members may wear one small earring, no larger than 5mm or 3/16 inches in diameter in each ear while on-duty.

Facial Hair:

A short, neatly trimmed and of natural color mustache may be worn. Mustaches shall not extend below the corners of the mouth or beyond the natural hairline of the upper lip. The mustache may not extend to the side of the mouth more than one-half inch beyond the corners of the mouth.

Sideburns shall not extend beyond the point even with the bottom of the ear lobe and shall extend in a clean-horizontal line.

For male sworn members and male professional staff in uniform, facial hair other than sideburns, mustaches, and eyebrows shall not be worn.


Male sworn members and professional staff members shall wear their fingernails short and neatly trimmed. Only clear fingernail polish is permitted.

Female sworn members shall not wear fingernails which extend more than 1/4 inch from the tip of the finger.


Covered by clothing.

Body Piercings or Alterations:

Body piercing or alteration to any area of the body visible in any authorized uniform or attire that is a deviation from normal anatomical features and which is not medically required is prohibited.  This includes but is not limited to, tongue splitting or piercing, complete or trans-dermal implantation of any material other than hair replacement, abnormal shaping of ears, earlobes, eyes, nose or teeth, branding or scarification.

Best of luck to each one of you in your journey to become the future generation of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.