Wednesday, April 28, 2010


In California we have what we term "Reserve" police officers. They work part time and have several levels of training and authority. There is a lot of variation, but here is the basics. Level one reserves have the same training, and authority as regular full time police. Level two reserves have a bit less training and typically work as a second officer in a patrol car with a regular or a level one reserve. Level three reserves have far less training and typically work special projects, like background investigations, canine, or scuba or other technical work.

Most cities don't pay their reserve officers, or they pay them less than they pay their regular full time officers. Sometimes they get paid for special duties, or special events, or they may get uniform or equipment allowances. Usually they get some amount of equipment provided to them and training is provided by the agency, after the initial academy training.

Reserves offer agencies the ability to field extra officers in times of emergency or special events that need more police. It allows the agency to bring on these officers who already know the policy and procedures of the agency. They also add additional staff, often on weekends to assist the regular department with both mundane tasks and regular patrol. Reserves, I am one, that's what the SGT Says.


Bob G. said...

I think Reserves are too often overlooked for assignments that can keep the "broken window theory" to a minimum in areas where crime trends are in flux.

Neighborhoods don't go to hell ALL by themselves...they DO need "help", and having reserve officer patrols might stem the rising tide of crime.

Noise checkpoints, cruising alleys...a lot of the "boring" things would find reserve officers more than willing to attend.

Also, having them at special events (fairs, festivals, etc) is a godsend, freeing up regular officers to answer immediate calls.

Logistically, it just makes sense.

*Goddess* said...

I was reading this article on another site and I was really surprised by the negative comments from guys who were supposedly cops. Some of them were calling reserve officers "scabs" and saying they were just "untrainable". Have you run across officers with that sort of mentality?