CHARLESTON -- Kanawha County Sheriff Capt. Sean Crosier said 55 aspiring deputies would be narrowed down to just four.
The candidates must first pass written exams, background checks, polygraph tests and extensive interviews with senior-level staff.
Crosier said 180 people had applied to become deputies, but only 61 showed up to physical training at West Virginia State University's Lakin Field on Saturday.
"I have to commend those that did show up because mostly all of them passed the physical test," Crosier said. "We usually have a high percentage that don't."
Candidates were timed while performing sit-ups, push-ups and running more than a mile.
Fifty-five people passed and went to take a written exam at the university's Wallace Hall Auditorium. The test evaluates each candidate's knowledge of law enforcement, decision-making skills and writing ability. They must get a score of 70 percent or better to pass. They are notified of their score in a letter in a couple of weeks.
But the road to being hired as a deputy is just starting, Crosier said.
Each candidate's background history is extensively checked and is subject to a polygraph exam.
"We polygraph to test the veracity of people," he said. "And if we didn't catch something in the background investigation then the truth is going to come out."