New apprenticeship program pays aspiring deputies while training, why it's needed to help law enforcement

Posted at 5:02 PM, Jun 28, 2024
  • A new apprenticeship program to pay a salary for aspiring Deputies while they're in school and training.
  • The program was originated at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and after legislative support, is now being rolled out across the state.
  • Watch the video to find out what the program involves and how it's setting the tone for the future of law enforcement recruitment.


A new development for law enforcement recruitment will allow people to earn a salary while training to become a deputy.

The idea for this new program began in Jackson County.

We're finding out how the program is being rolled out to benefit Sheriff Offices in our neighborhoods and across our state.

A new apprenticeship program will pay future deputies a salary while they're completing the schooling and training needed to enter law enforcement.

"If I wouldn't have gotten paid, it probably wouldn't have been possible," said Ryan Grover, the first graduate of this apprenticeship program.

That's because typically candidates are unable to work regular work hours while studying at the academy.

Grover is now a Deputy Sheriff at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

It's where the idea for the apprenticeship began.

"We don't have large budgets," said Sheriff Donnie Edenfield, "we don't usually have extra money, so to be able to hire someone and pay for their schooling, is a big step forward."

Sheriff Edenfield said the goal is to improve recruitment and retention of deputies and boost community safety.

"The more you've got to choose from, the pickier you can be, so the better quality you're going to get," said Edenfield. "This [program] definitely going to grow bigger and bigger and bigger."

And it is this year.

From Sheriff Donnie Edenfield and his team in Marianna, the program is now being replicated throughout the state of Florida.

Funding this year will go towards hiring apprentices in 8 counties including Bradford, Flagler, Suwannee, Walton, Leon, Jackson, Franklin, and Citrus.

That's thanks to $750,000 that's been allocated in the state legislature for this program. Support has also been provided by CareerSource

Keith Dean with the Florida Deputy Sheriff's Association said the program is arriving at a critical moment.

"Our state has continued to grow but our recruits for law enforcement has not," said Dean. "If we have more citizens in Florida, we need more law enforcement officers."

Grover said he knows it will benefit people considering a move into this industry.

"Things are so expensive, there's a lot of people who can barely afford to live, and with that, I think it will give them that opportunity," said Grover.

This year's apprentices will start on July 1st. If you're interested in becoming a Deputy at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the Sheriff's Office said you can apply through the normal format and they will steer you towards the apprenticeship program is they feel it is a good fit.