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Posted: 3/5/2002 3:30:49 PM EDT
I am considering applying to become a reserve deputy for the local SD. I have already checked into the requirements, which include becoming a certified peace officer and being successfully selected for the reserve officers group. The local SD has a really good program that allows you to go through police academy as a night class Mon-Thurs 6-10pm for 10 months(with one Saturday per month). The cost is very reasonable ($1300 for whole shabang). The job duties that the SD describes for their reserve deputies is highly varied, but in general they say it depends on the depts needs at any given time. The minimum committment is 16 hours/month, although they mention that most RO's put in much more than that. They also said that most of the RO's eventually go into full-time paid positions. I am looking for some advice from reserve officers (but also full-time LE if you have some good advice), about what I can expect and whether you think I would be suited to the job. To give you some background, I'm a 36 yo professional engineer in reasonably good shape and excellent health. No background whatsoever in LE. Vitals: 5'8", 150 lbs. My reasons for considering doing this are four-fold: (1) primarily, as a way of serving the community, (2) moderate interest in LE, (3) background/perspective for a possible future career change into politics or law,(4) getting out of speeding tickets (just kidding). Specifically, my questions are: - what is the level of satisfaction you derive from this work? - (for reserve officers), does the time committment interfere with your family life, other activites? - how much stress results from your work as a RO? - how long have you been doing it? - how are you treated by fellow LE? - do RO's in your dept get some interesting assignments like criminal investigation, or even patrol, or just relegated to paperwork, donut runs, etc. (BTW, that was another joke - I don't hold that stereotype) - are RO programs fairly common, and how difficult would it be to transfer to another SD in the same state? (my wife and I will likely move in a few years) Also, - what is the average age of RO'd in your dept?(the next course starts in Jan '03, so I would be 37 when I started the academy and 38 when I started duty, hence my question) - should my stature be of any concern to me? (if I do this I plan to get in good shape, but didn't know if I should try to bulk up a lot). I ask this because a lot of the deputies around here in TX are pretty big dudes - should I plan to take a martial arts course? Anoy other words of wisdom would be helpful. I just found out that the guy who does all the training for the academy (and who selects applicants for the RO group) shoots IDPA with me. Naturally, I will pose many of these same questions to him, but I wanted to get another view. I know I've asked a lot of questions, so I appreciate your patienece and help in advance. - rock
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 4:43:40 PM EDT
Go for it At 36 your more mature than many "new hires", and that is a huge plus. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog that counts. Martial Arts training is always helpful, but may not be directly appliable. IE tough to explain that ninja death grip........ As far as the time committment, how much it effects you is a question you will be in the best position to answer. No experience with RO's, from others I've heard stories about..... Don't expect any warm greetings, the other officers will evaluate you, if you act like a chucklehead you will get treated that way, if you act sensibly they will probably lighten up.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 3:22:08 AM EDT
Our reserves have to meet all of the same requirements as the regular officers for rntry to the Department. They go through a modified version of our field training program; they have to log the same number of FTO hours as the regular officers, so it can take them a couple of years. When they are done with FTO, they can ride alone. Our reserves are actually paid about $10 an hour, so that we can commission them as Regular Peace Officers (in Texas) and give them full coverage under workmen's comp for on-duty injuries. They are not in it for the pay, though. About half of our reserves were hired as reserve officers and make more money at their normal job. The other half are former full-time officers who got better paying jobs outside of the PD but wanted to maintain their law enforcement connection. We like our reserve officers. They usually show u on Friday or Saturday nights, and it is always nice to have more bodies to handle calls. Being in good shape is a plus, but common sense and good judgement are the most important things an officer can have, along with communications skills. Knowing how to shoot and defensive tactics are nice, but you can talk your way out of more crap than you can fight your way out of.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 5:23:48 AM EDT
Good luck, I started out as a R/O about 12 years ago. I actually enjoyed my time as an R/O and look back on those years with fond memories. After 2 years I took a paid position with a local department and have never looked back. I had to wait for my wife to get her degree before I could afford to take the cut in pay to work full time in law enforcement. Your age is more than likely a plus. Youth and wisdom rarely come together. As a R/O you will likely be in patrol and it certainly helps to be in shape. As the other posters stated you will be sized up quickly by the other officers. Keep an open mind and be willing to learn and you won't have any problem. As they are sizing you up you will also figure out quickly which officers you want to work with. As far as stress goes, it's what you make of it. I was far more stressed out working as an iron worker. It depends on how you deal with things. I don't feel that my job is stressful. Some people just can't deal with what we do. And that is not a problem, it takes all kinds.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 11:48:47 AM EDT
our reserves dont get to do much in the city except run the wagon and work the football games. but the sd reserves get to do everything the fultime officers do they just sign out a car and go they seem to be real happy with their jobs.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 11:53:27 AM EDT
I've been thinking of the Sheriff Posse because you can deduct all of your gear purhcased from your taxes. (because you are a volunteer) Hmmm. all of my practice ammo could be tax deductible. he he.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 1:36:33 PM EDT
I have a Reserve Deputy riding with me once a month and thankfully on Firday or Saturday when we are often the busiest...all of our units are single person...in my District we have over 180 square miles of area and on a good night thewre are three of us full time guys, so its always nice to have a little company...just beware of the arshlochs who would look down on you because you are not 'full time'.
Link Posted: 3/24/2002 9:29:50 AM EDT
I was a reserve for about a year before I became full time.I was not yet 21.The training in this state is nothing like the state acadamy.The thing to remember is that reserves are usually on duty for 6-10 hours a month,so don't act like you know everything like most of them do.I think thats why alot of ro get a bad rap.Try to make friends with all of the full timers that you meet,not just the ones that you work with every time your 10-8.If they like you,you will have a friend for life(we stick together).As far as your weight goes,the first time you get in deep,you will find out for yourself if you need to hit the weights a little more or not.For alot of us it's a stress reliever more than anything.God Bless....
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