LEO opinion request: 'Deputy Sheriff Reserve'

LEO opinion request: 'Deputy Sheriff Reserve'

This is a discussion on LEO opinion request: 'Deputy Sheriff Reserve' within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This past weekend I had the most unexpected of conversations occur between myself and a gentleman I've known three years since my move up here. ...

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Thread: LEO opinion request: 'Deputy Sheriff Reserve'

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    LEO opinion request: 'Deputy Sheriff Reserve'

    This past weekend I had the most unexpected of conversations occur between myself and a gentleman I've known three years since my move up here. He is a deputy sheriff.

    A long story short bottom line he asked why is it that I am not involved in law enforcement.
    I told him it's not been for lack of trying but no one wants me due to my age Federal (FBI and US Marshal service) which I've seriously entertained as a career and lifestyle change nor my local town police depts. toward reserves again due to age and/or not supporting such a program. I just happened to get the calling later in my life and apparently too late.
    He was surprised at my age, as IRL I look to be a decade younger per most common response from other people and college students too who still card me when I go to their venues.

    So as it turns out, and I did not know this prior, he is involved in recruitment toward my counties sheriff department and stated he would get me an application toward their DSR program and would also personally submit his own recommendation against my application. They run formal DSR recruitment once a year in the fall.

    He noted I'd be issued a uniform, credentials with badge, and be deemed an unpaid volunteer.
    I asked about what expectations and responsibilities would be involved in such a program to which he commented it's effectively like the National Guard Reserve in that I'd be required to attend training four times per month, pass a basic PT standard, and complete introductory as well as on going training.
    I'm in excellent fitness and am quite sure I could pass a military type PT test no problem.
    Responsibilities he stated would include being on call 24x7 toward emergency and civil issues so as to support full time commission deputies and to participate in public events such as parade and event duties so that regular/FT deputys are not tapped out to that from more important work.

    I went home and talked this over with my wife as I am seriously interested and would entertain this opportunity.
    It would seem to mesh well with my interests and desires at this point in my life. It's non-career based which is okay with me though it does give me an opportunity to work amongst and support my community which I'm fond of.

    So my question to you LEOs is what is your view, opinion, and feedback toward such reserve officer programs in general and sheriff agencies in specific?
    Here in MA sheriff agencies have county wide jurisdiction and aside from managing the county jail are also involved in tasks such as prisoner transport, parolee tracking and drug testing, as well as general law enforcement support services toward towns that do not have a local police force.

    What kind of questions, concerns, and gotyas should I be thinking of?
    Also how are reserve officer participants viewed and treated by regular/FT staff within agencies and amongst other police?

    I can see numerous fringe benefits toward participation but I do not believe in free lunches, and have yet to receive one regardless of marketing.
    Your feedback and view would help me better understand the depth and water temperature of the pool I might choose to dive in to.

    Thanks ahead of time.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array XD in SC's Avatar
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    Janq, I wish you the best in whatever your decision is regarding this issue.

    I "got the calling" late also.... I am 37.

    I am currently in the "wait for the City Manager to approve" phase of my Reserve Police Officer quest. I have finished all requirements,and the Chief is ready to put me into training.

    I had to meet all of the requirements the full-time PO has to meet, except for the 9 week academy.

    Application
    Background
    Credit
    9 weeks of Reserve Officer Training (2 nights per week)
    Reserve Officer test at Academy
    Physical
    Drug test
    Psych (man this one's long)
    Oral Board


    This started August of 2008. Man what a process! I have been doing ride-alongs for about 4+ years, so I am sure I know what I am getting into. I would already be at almost 90 hours for the year, if I was sworn in.

    Once sworn, I will be fully outfitted with all the necessary tools, except a patrol car. Glock (would prefer my XD), Taser, Monadnock, OC, armor, uniforms, flashlight, cuffs, leather..... it will be like Christmas!!

    By SC Law, Reserves are required to work 20 hours per month to maintain their status. After 240 hours, if the dept. feels a Reserve is qualified, they can allow the Reserve to function on their own in full capacity.

    I will be lucky in that our City just built a brand new PD and Court House, both old ones were falling apart. I will be unlucky(maybe kinda lucky) in that court will now be at 2pm. Which means that as a Reserve, I will not be doing alot of paperwork since I have a full-time job that will not allow me to leave for court cases.

    I don't know of many 'fringe benefits', other than making some good friends and contacts, more shooting practice, and some great training that I can use no matter what happens. One positive for me is that this dept. will allow me to work contract work and be paid for it. I think it's $10/hr, so I will volunteer for whatever I can swing time wise.

    To attempt to answer one of your questions, the local LEO really appreciate the Reserve guys when they want time off for something at the last minute.

    The way I look at my case is.....
    I can continue doing the job I LOVE, while also filling that desire to help my community. All at the same time, without affecting my income. A few of the officers I know, ask me why I would do this for free. I tell them, because when I am tired of the BS, I can just leave. I don't have to depend on it to support my lifestyle.
    Sean
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  3. #3
    Member Array JAG45's Avatar
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    One of the county officers I was talking to on break this last weekend put it this way. A friend of his saved money for a year and paid $2500 to sit through a 4 hour class, get shoved into a jumpsuit, put on a helmet and ride around the seedway at 140 mph for six laps or about 5 minutes. He on the other hand got to run a high speed chase down the freeway for 20 miles, play with the lights and siren and have some fun at the end with a gun and did not have to wear a helmet and he got paid to do it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array XD in SC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG45 View Post
    One of the county officers I was talking to on break this last weekend put it this way. A friend of his saved money for a year and paid $2500 to sit through a 4 hour class, get shoved into a jumpsuit, put on a helmet and ride around the seedway at 140 mph for six laps or about 5 minutes. He on the other hand got to run a high speed chase down the freeway for 20 miles, play with the lights and siren and have some fun at the end with a gun and did not have to wear a helmet and he got paid to do it.
    I think I missed how this relates to the topic...
    Sean
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  5. #5
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    Reserve programs are very different,everywhere you go.
    In some states they have the same powers as full time LEO's.
    In other almost but not quite, and yet others are no more than parking attendants.

    Some carry guns, some dont. Some patrol, some dont.

    With that being said, my Sheriffs Dept depends heavily on Reserves. We have full powers when on duty.

    The Marshals Office, which I am employed part time as a Deputy, is a small town police dept. We have 4 fulltimers, 4 partimers and 2 Reserves.
    Our reserves can do anything we do, the only difference is that they dont get paid. If a part timer or full timer skedaddles, they get first preference.

    As a matter of fact, one of our FT'ers became a Reserve because he got elected to the city council and due to a conflict of interest had to go to a non paid status as a Reserve.He gets to do what he did before, and keep his certification.

    It really depends on what you want to do and what you are able to do.

    I say GO for it.
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    Senior Member Array BamaSteve's Avatar
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    This is an interesting thread for myself as well. Once I start full-time in a few months, I'd like to look into reserve officer options as well. I don't know much about it, but I've always been interested in law enforcement. This way I can keep my day job and get to see what LE is like.
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  7. #7
    mrm
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    I signed up for this position and bought all my equipment and then ran into snaggs with both my job and my wifes job (im a pawnbroker and she is a paralegal for defense attorney) so I wish you all the luck have fun for me ok
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
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  8. #8
    Member Array JAG45's Avatar
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    It is going to depend on where you are and what agency you work for. I started with the PD where I work part time as a reserve when I was 55. I had the highest PT grade in the class. All the old guys in our class (one 63 was the oldest ), well we had the two highest written test scores. I had the highest handgun qualification score in the class. We are both Cpl's now and we each have 5 reseves under us. The department thinks a lot of our reserve program and depends on it for support and manpower. Most all new hires are from the reseves program. Most of the full time Sgt's and full time officers have just as soon have us as any of the full time patrol officer ridding on thier shift. Our reseve program has a 180 hour class and you become a state certified and sworned officer and can work up to 20 paid hours each week.

    Other departments have sworn and non-sworn officers and all kinds of different programs. Ask questions, find out what is expected of you once you get in, how may hours you need to put in, and what you can and can not do. Also you need to make sure you family knows and understands all this also.. Just wait till the first time you get call in on a Friday night and end up haveing to stay out till sometime Saturday morning.... and have to explain it to the wife... when you said you only work a ballgame or something and ride a 4 hour shift once a week if you don't.

    Of course to the full timers you have to prove your self just like a new hire when you come in. It is and will be so much "WHAT YOU MAKE IT"

  9. #9
    Member Array Jumper2501's Avatar
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    Reserve LEO

    I've been planning to go down this road myself. Guess I got the calling late, as well. I'm about 2 years from retirement from the Army and have just decided to look into this in my own community. From what I've discovered so far, the local Sheriff has reserves, while the local City PD doesn't, so that's the way I'm leaning now, looking for something full-time eventually.
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  10. #10
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    I can't personally say anything about reserves, since I don't think our counties have reserves (not saying they don't). I do know we have a great relationship with both counties and help each other with all sorts of things.
    It sounds like your county officers are responsible for most of the same things as ours.
    I know reserve programs are different everywhere. Some paid, some not, all sorts of differences as to what you can/can't do.
    IMO, bottom line is....is it something you feel like you want to do? do you want to help your community? seems to me thats the questions you need to answer. I say go for it.
    Heck, I waited until I was 35 to go into LE as a career, wish I'd done it about 10 years earlier.
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  11. #11
    Member Array oldogy's Avatar
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    Two gentlemen that I worked with many years ago were reserve police officers. They both enjoyed the experiences.
    oldogy

  12. #12
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    Hey Jang, Go for it!

    My PD does not have 'reserves' but they do have a part time staff that are mostly filled with guys like yourself and from time to time, one will make the jump over to full time staff. Its a great way to get your tow in the water or foot in the door, you can do as much or as little as you want.

    The biggest issue that I would consider is if you will be a full certified officer or not and insurance. In other words, should you get hit by a car directing traffic who picks up the tab. The answer seems obvious, but I've seen guys screwed in other departments. Not just medical expenses like what workers comp picks up, but what happens if you are unable to work your day job now too.

    Do you get the same or close to the same basic training and equipment?

    Are there special roles that your skills could be helpful? Example; we have a computer guy who takes care of a lot of our in house computer stuff, then straps on a gun belt and works a few shifts a month.
    We also have a truck driver who is in charge of driving and maintaining our truck and trailer for SWAT, HAZMAT and dive teams.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array XD in SC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Hey Jang, Go for it!


    The biggest issue that I would consider is if you will be a full certified officer or not and insurance. In other words, should you get hit by a car directing traffic who picks up the tab. The answer seems obvious, but I've seen guys screwed in other departments. Not just medical expenses like what workers comp picks up, but what happens if you are unable to work your day job now too.
    We were told that all of our LE related injuries would be handled by Work Comp, but they WILL NOT pay for loss of income from primary source. I took out an extra policy at work for short term/long term. Cost me about $8/month.
    Sean
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  14. #14
    Member Array Erik's Avatar
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    Having known various "part time" and "volunteer" LEOs over the years, I'll add another "go for it" comment.
    God, country, family.

  15. #15
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    In my last post I typed tow when I meant to type toe. I really need to pay attention to what I'm doing here.


    Jang, does your state require that you attend an academy prior to serving as a reserve? Does the Sheriff pick up the bill for that if it is required?
    "Just blame Sixto"

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