Seeking Law Enforcement Officers' Advice-Reserves

Seeking Law Enforcement Officers' Advice-Reserves

This is a discussion on Seeking Law Enforcement Officers' Advice-Reserves within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Early next spring I'm seriously considering volunteering as a reserve officer for either my local Sheriff's Dept. or the DPS State Troopers (here: Alabama Department ...

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Thread: Seeking Law Enforcement Officers' Advice-Reserves

  1. #1
    Member Array glocker23's Avatar
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    Seeking Law Enforcement Officers' Advice-Reserves

    Early next spring I'm seriously considering volunteering as a reserve officer for either my local Sheriff's Dept. or the DPS State Troopers (here: Alabama Department of Public Safety)

    I'm unable to decide which of the two I would be more interested in, but my general interest or desire for it is to help give back to my community and provide assistance to a lone officer. I am concerned though because I do work a full time job and can't simply ignore that or leave that job on a whim during a shift unless it's a legitimate family emergency, etc.

    Some of my questions are, have any of you that are fully certified officers had any bad experiences with reserve officers, i.e., are reserve officers looked at as an asset or possibly a hinderance? (from what I understand departments require reserve officers to be under the constant supervision of a fully trained and certified leo)

    Are most departments willing and able to work around a reserve officer's full time job work and/or family schedule, etc.??

    And, from what I'm reading and interpreting in the federal law (HR 218) it looks as though reserve officers would also be eligible to carry nationwide under this law so long as they are qualified and authorized to carry a firearm and have statutory powers of arrest while on duty.. ???? (Here: U.S. Code)

    And, the federal TSA Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed program. Do any of you have authorization under this program? From what I understand the program's objective is to allow leo's to carry armed while flying in commercial aircaft...I think..??? What about reserve officers too..???

    Longwinded post, but I have A LOT of questions..
    "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun." --Patrick Henry


  2. #2
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    Most reserve units that I'm familiar with, the reserve officers sign up for their shifts based on their own schedules. We had reserves working in both the jail division and the patrol division. The reserves in the patrol division, I worked with were considered great assets to us. They provided added units on the weekends and holidays. Many times the regular officers could get a holiday off with their families because the reserves would come work on the holidays. The reserves were required to work 20 hours per month.

    As far as the part about carrying nationwide, I would say no because you are not an "employee of the government agency". Reserves here have no authority unless they are working, their shifts, for the sheriff's dept.
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    I worked with reserves for 20 years. They will use you like a slave. Guess who gets to go stand outside when it's 120 degrees and guard a crime scene? Guess who gets to do the dumpster dive for evidence? I could go on and on. And how much are they paying for your services??? If you want to be a cop, go to the academy and get on the payroll. You'll be glad you did in 20 years.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  4. #4
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    I'll bite.
    I am certified as a Part Time Officer that can get paid, but work mostly as a Reserve.

    Since Reserve programs vary considerably from state to state, there isn't really much that I can offer as to what may or may not apply to your state.

    I can and do patrol alone, and pretty much do what the full timers do. As far as "respect" that is entirely up to how your dept. feels about the Reserve Program in general. It can be great, or it can suck. As with any officer, whether they be full time or Reserve, its mostly up to you with the respect level.

    In my dept. we are used no differently than any one else.If you screw up, you'' get chastised right along with the rest of them. You go to court and justify your actions. I have spent lots of time in court with murder cases that I have worked and drunk drivers. So far with the drunks I am 100 percent on the conviction rate. While lots of cases get thrown out for various reasons I walk the line on arresting and testing and have had good results.

    We train with the full timers, and often times may be the only ones out. Tonight is one of those nights. We got paged, and there are two Reserves out right now because the full timers are on vacation and the other one called in sick.

    We have been in high speed pursuits, shootouts, stabbings, murders, you name it. We are covered under LEOSA and I have carried in other states with no issues.

    As for bad experiences with a Reserve, I have had words with one of ours due to his woefully inadequate communication skills. He is short, and has the short mans syndrome. If it were up to me, he would be history.

    The Sheriffs Office buy most of our stuff, and they issue the Glock 21, but we have the option to carry whatever we can qualify with. Me, I choose to tote the Sig220 and keep the Glock in the safe. We have our own cars, several being designated to us specifically, but if we need more, the full timers always let us use their issued cars.

    Most everyone carries shotguns, but several carry an AR,which I do,and am able to carry a Remington 700 in .308 for "special cases", but I am the only one authorized to do that.

    Like any other job, it will be what you make of it. Where I work I have never had a problem leaving work in the event of an emergency, they have been really good about that.

    It is my understanding that if in uniform on duty, we can fly armed if transporting a prisoner. We had two fly somewhere up to Indiana a month or so ago,two Reserves flew up there to get him and then brought him back, there were no problems encountered. I believe that had to go through some on line course to get certified to do that though. I' am not sure about the Reserve certification itself being able to do that though, I think that because we can get paid,and are considered Part Time, they actually paid the two guys to do that to make it all legal.

    We can work whenever we want, but do get called alot. They understand that you have a full time job and they are willing to work around that so there are no issues there. If you say "no" they just move on down the list.

    It can be a lot of work , or not much. It can be fun or not fun. It can be either boring or you can fear for your life.

    If you'd rather be doing something where you can make a difference rather than laying around on the couch watching TV, I highly recommend it.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  5. #5
    Member Array glocker23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    I worked with reserves for 20 years. They will use you like a slave. Guess who gets to go stand outside when it's 120 degrees and guard a crime scene? Guess who gets to do the dumpster dive for evidence? I could go on and on. And how much are they paying for your services??? If you want to be a cop, go to the academy and get on the payroll. You'll be glad you did in 20 years.

    you did that for 20 years if it was that bad??
    "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun." --Patrick Henry

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    No, I'm a retired sworn Deputy, having to watch those poor guys.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  7. #7
    Member Array glocker23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I'll bite.
    I am certified as a Part Time Officer that can get paid, but work mostly as a Reserve.

    Since Reserve programs vary considerably from state to state, there isn't really much that I can offer as to what may or may not apply to your state.

    I can and do patrol alone, and pretty much do what the full timers do. As far as "respect" that is entirely up to how your dept. feels about the Reserve Program in general. It can be great, or it can suck. As with any officer, whether they be full time or Reserve, its mostly up to you with the respect level.

    In my dept. we are used no differently than any one else.If you screw up, you'' get chastised right along with the rest of them. You go to court and justify your actions. I have spent lots of time in court with murder cases that I have worked and drunk drivers. So far with the drunks I am 100 percent on the conviction rate. While lots of cases get thrown out for various reasons I walk the line on arresting and testing and have had good results.

    We train with the full timers, and often times may be the only ones out. Tonight is one of those nights. We got paged, and there are two Reserves out right now because the full timers are on vacation and the other one called in sick.

    We have been in high speed pursuits, shootouts, stabbings, murders, you name it. We are covered under LEOSA and I have carried in other states with no issues.

    As for bad experiences with a Reserve, I have had words with one of ours due to his woefully inadequate communication skills. He is short, and has the short mans syndrome. If it were up to me, he would be history.

    The Sheriffs Office buy most of our stuff, and they issue the Glock 21, but we have the option to carry whatever we can qualify with. Me, I choose to tote the Sig220 and keep the Glock in the safe. We have our own cars, several being designated to us specifically, but if we need more, the full timers always let us use their issued cars.

    Most everyone carries shotguns, but several carry an AR,which I do,and am able to carry a Remington 700 in .308 for "special cases", but I am the only one authorized to do that.

    Like any other job, it will be what you make of it. Where I work I have never had a problem leaving work in the event of an emergency, they have been really good about that.

    It is my understanding that if in uniform on duty, we can fly armed if transporting a prisoner. We had two fly somewhere up to Indiana a month or so ago,two Reserves flew up there to get him and then brought him back, there were no problems encountered. I believe that had to go through some on line course to get certified to do that though. I' am not sure about the Reserve certification itself being able to do that though, I think that because we can get paid,and are considered Part Time, they actually paid the two guys to do that to make it all legal.

    We can work whenever we want, but do get called alot. They understand that you have a full time job and they are willing to work around that so there are no issues there. If you say "no" they just move on down the list.

    It can be a lot of work , or not much. It can be fun or not fun. It can be either boring or you can fear for your life.

    If you'd rather be doing something where you can make a difference rather than laying around on the couch watching TV, I highly recommend it.

    I appreciate your time and information. I'm sort of new to this area and state, having moved here last year. I am leaning more towards the local Sheriff's Dept. reserve program versus the DPS State Trooper reserve program...I believe it would be less of a hassle and easier on my schedule, etc. Plus, I like the Sheriff's Dept. uniform a lot more: brown pants with boots and tan shirt with star

    I was going to wait until early next year after the holidays and family get togethers, etc., but what I should do is find the guy in charge of the county Sheriff's Dept. reserve program and start popping a lot of questions and perhaps talk to some of the other deputies..sort of get a feel for the program and the morale, etc. I do know for a fact that, at least in my home county here, there is a tremendous amount of respect for the local enforcement and they are very effective and praised by the local news media and the Sheriff (elected by the citizenry in this state) is very competent and respected too.
    "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun." --Patrick Henry

  8. #8
    Member Array glocker23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    No, I'm a retired sworn Deputy, having to watch those poor guys.
    ohhhhh, ok..
    "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun." --Patrick Henry

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    We appreciated the help, don't get me wrong. I just felt they were taken advantage of. Ours were unpaid, but could make a fortune working off-duty jobs. About half of them were "wanna-be's" and didn't last long. The rest were great guys just wanting something to do or provide community service. Give it a try, you never know. You may want to go full time. If you're a young guy, it's awful nice to retire after 20 and do another whole career with something like the post office and double dip the rest of your life!
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  10. #10
    Member Array glocker23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    We appreciated the help, don't get me wrong. I just felt they were taken advantage of. Ours were unpaid, but could make a fortune working off-duty jobs. About half of them were "wanna-be's" and didn't last long. The rest were great guys just wanting something to do or provide community service. Give it a try, you never know. You may want to go full time. If you're a young guy, it's awful nice to retire after 20 and do another whole career with something like the post office and double dip the rest of your life!
    sounds good; I would be just looking at part time to help out and having to work around my currently job/career which I'm pretty happy with. Anyway, will definitely check more into this early next spring, probably around March time frame.
    "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun." --Patrick Henry

  11. #11
    Member Array Ship A'Hoy's Avatar
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    I'm a reserve deputy and I enjoy it. We are restricted to work only special details or emergencies, no patrol or prisoner transport. It's mostly traffic duty and crowd control. We carry a full duty belt including firearm and have authority to arrest while in uniform and on duty.

    It's good to help out my community as much as I can.

    We get along fine with most full-time Deputies and municipal Police Officers. We don't infringe on their overtime.
    "Success is not Final, Failure is not Fatal, it is the Courage to Continue that Counts"
    Sir Winston Churchill

  12. #12
    Member Array rathos's Avatar
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    I guess it really does vary from state to state. I was just accepted into the reserve program (mainly I want to go full time and this is the best way in). The only difference between us and the full timers is our badge says "reserve" on it and they get paid. There are lots of other opportunities such as providing security for the county fair and concerts while in uniform, which pays very well, but we get no compensation from the department other then training and practice ammo. They also provide us with uniforms, vests, shoes, duty belt and equipment and a glock 17 (which will stay in my safe). We have to go through a six month long academy, which is taught by the same instructor that gets the full timers ready for their academy. After the academy we are required to give 24 hours a month for the first year then after that we will be certified to go on our own and only required to give 16 hours per month. Good luck!
    ‘‘To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.’’

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array community's Avatar
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    when I was an LEO in the 70's, i loved when reserves rode with me. we had one man units and the second man was always welcome.

    on a B&E in progress call, drove the cruiser down an alley, saw two BG running toward me, stopped car, drew weapon, shouted loudly, stop xxxxxxxxxxxx, all of which time the reserve was on the radio talking to dispatch and other units advising of current situation. great job. always grateful. Yes, caught them. One had a weapon, of which he immediately dropped.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    What reserve duties will be is entirely dependent on the department. My agency doesn't have a reserve program to speak of (I think we have one retired officer who is listed as a reserve with the state, but he never works, other than going to qualification and doing the required in-service training). I worked for an agency in the past that had reserves, and I liked having them around. I was a reserve myself with a small department while I was a probation officer, but since I was fully certified (from previous full-time work in LE), I always worked alone, and I was usually the only officer the PD had out; the county PD was my backup.

    In North Carolina reserve officers have to hold the same certification as full and part-time officers. They are covered by workers comp when on-duty, and have the same arrest authority as full-time officers with whatever department the reserve for, on and off-duty. They are covered by LEOSA.

    In Virginia, some reserves hold full LE certification, and some don't. Those that don't have to work under the supervision of a fully certified officer and generally don't have arrest authority off-duty. They may be allowed to carry off-duty by the department, or may not be. Either type of reserve is covered by workers comp, and fully certified reserves in VA are covered by LEOSA, it is less clear whether those that are not fully certified are covered or not.
    -Landric

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