Animal Protection Police Officer I

Fairfax, Virginia
$51,915.34 - $84,564.69 Annually
Nov 13, 2021
May 14, 2022
Full Time
Job Announcement

This is a sworn law enforcement officer position. Candidates who are hired are required to successfully complete basic police training at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy. Basic police training is approximately six months in length, six weeks of which are focused on the use of firearms, driving, and defensive tactics. Other training includes classroom instruction, daily fitness and hands-on training such as handcuffing, and scenario-based training. Upon successful completion of the police academy, applicants must complete both patrol and animal protection officer field training. Provides law enforcement and public safety services to the community with regards to state and local animal control and game laws and ordinances. Patrols designated areas, using department vehicle. Apprehends stray animals (domestic and agricultural); rescues sick or injured wild and domestic animals. Coordinates with county Health Department to investigate incidents of animal bites and human exposure. Evaluates and investigates cases of alleged animal cruelty. Issues uniform summonses and testifies in court. Euthanizes animals by use of chemical or firearm as required.

Required to work a varied shift schedule: Day shift: 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Evening Shift: 1:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Workdays alternate weekly. (1st week: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 2nd Week: Wednesday and Thursday).

NOTE: This position requires shift and weekend work. Incumbents are considered emergency essential services personnel requiring that they report on their scheduled day, or may be called back to work, should a manmade or natural disaster or emergency arise.

**Academy Training is primarily Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

*Entry-level salary will be determined within pay grade based upon relevant preferred qualifications; 5% increase for each of the following, college degree, prior law enforcement and military experience; experience in an animal-related field, and foreign language proficiency up to $68,880.

Opportunity to transfer VRS (Virginia Retirement System) into Fairfax County Retirement System (FCRS).

Illustrative Duties

(The illustrative duties listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list. A complete list of position duties and unique physical requirements can be found in the position job description.)
  • Responds to complaints and emergencies involving domestic animals and wildlife as directed by mobile display terminal, radio, or telephone;
  • Patrols the streets for stray and/or unlicensed animals, impounds them, and takes them to the Animal Shelter;
  • Investigates a variety of animal related cases including animal bite, animal cruelty, complaints of excessive noise caused by animals;
  • Ascertain the facts in the animal related cases, secure evidence for the arrest, searches for and apprehends the offenders;
  • Interviews suspects and offenders of animal related cases;
  • Prepares reports on investigations, offenses, arrests, and activities involving domestic animals and wildlife;
  • Performs field euthanasia of injured and sick animals as necessary by means of chemical injections or a firearm;
  • Coordinates with State Veterinarian to provide immediate care for sick or injured animals;
  • Prepares detailed investigative summaries for presentation in court and coordinates with prosecuting attorneys and witnesses for court testimony;
  • Make arrests or issues uniform summons to persons found violating animal control and protection laws and ordinances;
  • Assists other personnel of the Police Department and those of other agencies such as the Health Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Sheriff's Office and Zoning Enforcement, with animal problems upon request.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list.)

  • Knowledge and skill in the handling and gross examination of domestic and wild animals with minimum exposure to risk of injury to self or others;
  • Knowledge of animal welfare laws and ordinances as well as basic animal care;
  • Knowledge of modern methods and practices of criminal investigation and identification;
  • Knowledge of departmental rules and regulations;
  • Knowledge of the geography of the county;
  • Skill in the use of firearms;
  • Ability to effectively communicate with a variety of diverse populations;
  • Ability to remember names, faces, and details;
  • Ability to comprehend and execute complex oral and written directions;
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in stressful situations;
  • Good physical condition;
  • Keen sense of observation;
  • Ability to maintain a high level of ethical standards;
  • Ability to demonstrate a high level of integrity and be truthful at all times.

Employment Standards

Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to high school graduation or a GED issued by a state department of education.

  • Associate or higher degree from an accredited university or college.
  • Prior law enforcement or military experience.
  • Prior training in animal control or animal health.
  • Current law enforcement officer certification in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Professional working proficiency, or higher, in a foreign language or American Sign Language. Proficiency level to be evaluated.
  • Possession of a valid motor vehicle driver's license at the time of appointment.
  • By the end of the probationary period, must possess the following:
  • Certification as a Law Enforcement Officer by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services - Required within 12 months and recertify every 2 years;
  • Certification of successful completion of a basic animal control course as approved by the Code of Virginia- within two years of appointment and recertify every 3 years;
  • Certification in the Virginia Crime Information Network (VCIN) - Required within 12 months and recertify every 24 months;
  • Certification in firearms proficiency- Required within 12 months and recertify every 24 months;
  • Certification in chemical immobilization and Euthanasia - Required within 2 years and recertify every 3 years;
  • Incident Command System (ICS) 100 - Required within 12 months;
  • Incident Command System (ICS) 700 - Required within 12 months;
  • Mandated Emergency Vehicle Operations (MEVO) - within 12 months and recertify every 36 months;
  • AED - Required within 12 months and recertify every 24 months;
  • First Aid- Required within 12 months and recertify every 24 months;
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation-CPR - Required within 12 months and recertify every 24 months.

  • Must be a citizen of the United States;
  • Must be 20 years old, or within 180 days of 21st birthday at time of application;
  • Must successfully complete a criminal background investigation, a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, and a physical ability test prior to appointment;
  • Must be able to perform essential job functions (reasonable accommodation may be made on a case-by-case-basis);
  • Must have never committed, been involved in, or been convicted of, a felony or serious misdemeanor;
  • Must be of good character and reputation;
  • Incumbents shall not use any tobacco products on and off duty starting at the time of appointment. The incumbent must be willing to sign a Condition of Employment Agreement acknowledging the prohibition of the use of tobacco products both on and off duty.
  • All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the last required dose) as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs may be subject to a weekly testing requirement. Vaccinated employees and employees with a medical or religious exemption will complete the attestation online on their first day of employment or shortly thereafter.

Work requires ability to negotiate various terrain, sit, crouch, walk, and run, in order to capture/impound animals and perform public safety work as required. Ability to obtain Class A medical rating prior to appointment and pass physical requirements at academy. Ability to use issued equipment/vehicle. Ability to lift, move or carry up to 50 lbs. All duties accomplished with or without reasonable accommodations. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Successful completion of all background requirements and final interview with Personnel Resource Commander or his designee.

Note: Please review your supplemental questionnaire responses for completeness and accuracy prior to submission, as they are subject to verification. Do not assume that negative information in your background (e.g., employment, criminal) will result in your disqualification. However, intentionally providing false or incomplete information may be a basis for disqualification.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.

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